Afternoon Clearing 11x14 Oil Available at Fine Art and Antique on Lake
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you (the artist) into action, and because there is only one of you in all of 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 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 yourself open and aware 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."
Many of my artist friends have asked me why should they be artists? Why bother painting if so few see it or care about it? I have tried to articulate my feelings but have fallen far short of any convincing argument, so when I read this, I thought of those conversation and wanted to share this remarkable quote. It cuts to the very core of my experience as an artist. The anxiety over my work, the constant dissatisfaction with my craft, the need to be better, are all put into perspective when I read this wonderful advice from one artist (Martha Graham) to another (Agnes de Mille). I wish I could have said it half as well.
Instead of being anxious over my displeasure, I see my dissatisfaction as the natural state of an artist. Embracing that unrest and using it to keep motivated is how an artist channels creativity. Being OK with the fact that I will never be 100% pleased with my work, is the only solution. Being open to the creative force and acting on it, is my only option. Seeing my unrest as blessed is an incredible insight.
Paint from life; live to paint.Topics: Inspiration and Art
- Success After the Fact
- Change is Necessary or Not
- Learning from Other Artists
- Thieves and Artists
- Finding Inspiration
2 Responses to Divine Dissatisfaction
Hi Sharon, I am another FASO artist. I love your work and your blogs... VERY inspirational. Your words in your blog are quite comforting for another "perfectionist." Keep up the great work! Loretta
I am always happy to hear from other FASO artists and glad that you are inspired by my blogs.
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