Monday, October 4, 2010

View from the Studio

I love the early autumn mornings when there is a nip in the air but it is still warm enough to have the studio door open and hear the profusion of birdsong. Spider webs linger about on the hydrangeas and the sun drenches the garden as it begins to fade back in preparation for winter. My cat, Henri, holding vigil by my side. At these moments, in the words of the poet Wendell Berry, "I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Here, you can see the edge of one of my current paintings...a very large "Creation" mandala. Early stages. Trusting while wrestling with the muses. A state of blessed unrest, perhaps?

One of my favorite quotes, and one I have framed in my studio, from Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille. For all artists out there who are following their vision and working (sometimes struggling) to bring that to the world. Keep the channel open!
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

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