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Pearls from artists* # 531

In the Studio

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Find joy in the process as well as in the product. The issue of recognition is in part the issue of process versus outcome. Insofar as the process brings you joy, insofar as constructing a paragraph, painting shafts of sunlight, or playing a passage fills you with awe and delight, for that hour the issue of recognition vanishes. Insofar as the effort to construct that paragraph or to master that passage is a heartfelt struggle, welling up from deep sources, for that hour the issue of recognition vanishes. Notice your joy in the work, so as to remind yourself why you embarked on this journey.

Eric Maisel in A Life in the Arts: Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Creative and Performing Artists

Comments are welcome!

Pearls from artists* # 80

New York, NY

New York, NY

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important:  whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair.  But the painting [“The Goldfinch,” 1654, by C. Fabritius] has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time.  And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you.  That life – whatever else it is – is short.  That fate is cruel but maybe not random.  That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it.  That maybe if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway:  wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open.  And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.  For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time – so too has love.  Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality.  It exists; and it keeps on existing.  And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.

Donna Tartt in The Goldfinch 

Comments are welcome!

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