Idea for a painting
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Often the public forms an idea of inspiration that is quite false, almost a religious notion. Alas! I do not believe that inspiration falls from heaven. I think it rather the result of a profound indolence and of our incapacity to put to work certain forces in ourselves. These unknown forces work deep within us, with the aid of the elements of daily life, its scenes and passions, and, they burden us and oblige us to conquer the kind of somnolence in which we indulge ourselves like invalids who try to prolong dream and dread resuming contact with reality, in short when the work that makes itself in us and in spite of us demands to be born, we can believe that this work comes to us from beyond and is offered by the gods. The artist is more slumberous in order that he shall not work. By a thousand ruses, he prevents his nocturnal work from seeing the light of day.
For it is at the moment that consciousness must take a precedence and that it becomes necessary to find the means which permit the unformed work to take form, to render it visible to all. To write, to conquer ink and paper, accumulate letters and paragraphs, divide them with periods and commas, is a different matter than carrying the dream of a play or of a book.
Jean Cocteau: The Process of Inspiration in The Creative Process, edited by Brewster Ghiselin
Comments are welcome!
Posted in 2015, An Artist's Life, Creative Process, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Working methods
Tags: "The Creative Process", "The Process of Inspration", accumulate, artist, becomes, believe, beyond, book, born, Brewster Ghiselin, burden, carrying, certain, commas, conquer, consciousness, contact, daily, day, demands, different, divide, dread, dream, elements, falls, false, forces, form, forms, gods, heaven, idea, incapacity, indolence, indulge, ink, inspiration, invalids, itself, Jean Cocteau, letters, life, light, makes, matter, means, moment, necessary, nocturnal, notion, oblige, offered, ourselves, painting, paper, passions, periods, permit, play, precedence, prevents, profound, prolong, public, rather, reality, religious, render, result, resuming, ruses, scenes, seeing, slumberous, somnolence, spite, thousand, unformed, unknown, visible, within, work, write
Q: I understand your comments to mean that being at the studio challenges you to be your best. How (why) do you think that works? (Question from Nancy Nikkal)
Posted by barbararachkoscoloreddust
“Avenger,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58″ x 38″
A: I am always trying to push my pastel techniques further, seeking to figure out new ways to render my subject matter, expanding my technical vocabulary. It would be monotonous to keep working the same old way. Wasn’t it John Baldessari who said, “No more boring art?” He was talking about art that’s boring to look at. Well, as someone who CREATES art I don’t want to be bored during the making so I keep challenging myself. I love learning, in general, and I especially love learning new things about soft pastel.
Very often I start a project because I have no idea how to depict some particular subject using pastel. For example, one of the reasons I undertook “Avenger” was to challenge myself to render all of that hair! Eventually I managed to figure it out and I learned a few new techniques in the process.
Comments are welcome!
Posted in 2020, An Artist's Life, Bolivianos, Creative Process, Pastel Painting, Working methods
Tags: always, “Avenger”, ”No more boring art”, challenge, comments, creates, depict, eventually, expending, figure out, further, John Baldessari, learning, making, managed, matter, monotonous, myself, Nancy Nikkal, particular, pastel, process, project, reasons, render, seeking, soft pastel, soft pastel on sandpaper, Studio, subject, talking, technical, techniques, trying, understand, undertook, vocabulary, working