Pearls from artists* # 480
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Walter Murch: As I’ve gone through life, I’ve found that your chances for happiness are increased if you wind up doing something that is a reflection of what you loved when you were between nine and eleven years old.
Michael Ondaatje: Yes – something that had and still has the feeing of a hobby, a curiosity.
M: At that age, you know enough of the world to have opinions about things, but you’re not old enough yet to be overly influenced by the crowd or by what other people are doing or what you think you “should” be doing. If what you do later on ties into that reservoir, in some way, then you are nurturing some essential part of yourself. It’s certainly been true in my case. I’m doing now, at fifty-eight, almost exactly what excited me when I was eleven.
But I went through a whole late-adolescent phase when I thought: Splicing sounds together can’t be a real occupation, maybe I should be a geologist or teach art history.
The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje
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Travel photo of the month*
* Favorite travel photos that have not yet appeared in this blog
Of all the countries I have visited so far, I’d say that the most beautiful, awe-inspiring landscapes are to be found in Bolivia! The people and the sights and sounds of Bolivia truly won my heart. I hope to return.
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Q: How do you think your time in Bali will affect your work?
A: There is always a long gestation period as I reflect on the new experiences, sights, sounds, etc. after a trip. Bali is a fascinating place – the only Hindu outpost in the world’s most populous Muslim country – so I’m reading everything I can find. I’ve finished an historical novel, Love and Death in Bali, about the 1906 mass suicide of the royal family during the Dutch invasion. I’m slowly making my way through Bali: Sekala and Niskala, a densely packed book about the intricacies of Hinduism, rituals, and art, written with the help of our guide, Budi. In the short term I’m using more green pastels in my paintings. Amidst all of the tropical lushness, I must have seen thousands of shades of green. The volcano shapes in “Absence,” a pastel painting completed last week (see post of JUL 20), resulted from this trip. Other, more pronounced effects will probably show up later.