Tag Archives: quotations

I will not……

Words of wisdom from John Baldessari

New paintings

Yesterday was one of those particularly exhilarating days in the studio……a day to begin new paintings. I always work on more than one piece at a time (to allow for drying times, thinking time, using up left-over cups of paint, to be able to try out an inspiration that comes to me while working on one painting to another piece), and I am ready to add to the MINDSCAPE series and begin a new series of small river-related canvasses, title to be determined. 16 new beginnings, no rules (except for the size constraints), no specific plans other that to experiment and play with the textures and the colors. I crank up the music and do my best to keep my mind open to what is happening on the canvasses, confident that I will be able to move forward  to a successful conclusion with each piece.  I already know, based on past experience, that some will coalesce fairly quickly, and some will develop in a somewhat  orderly manner, step by step, and that some will be real, frustrating struggles.  Yes, I am interested in the destination, but to me the real joy is in the journey.

“You should have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague one. If you know exactly what you are going to do, what’s the good of doing it? Since you know, the exercise is pointless. It is better to do something else.”   Pablo Picasso

Looking within.

In painting we are each individual in our expressive needs, our view of the world, our sense of what is beautiful.

These traits of character determine our choices of images and symbols, the important element of painting which cannot be taught.

The tools of painting, design, and technique can be formulated, and they become our vocabulary of painting.

It is through trial and through experimentation that we find the creative form which best suits our individual expressive needs.

In this search we are each an experiment of one.


Everyday art

“Beauty is everywhere, in the arrangement of your pots and pans, on the white wall of your kitchen, perhaps more than in your 18th century salon or in the official museum.”   Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

gallery wall in Iceland: photo by Mark Bergerson
photo by Mark Bergerson


For the artist, there is a seemingly endless list of fears, misconceptions, and excuses that get in the way of making art, and it is only by recognizing and facing these demons that you will be able to realize your goal to become a good artist.  I’ll just lay a list of some of the most common demons (as I see it) today, and then deal with each one in greater depth in upcoming posts. They are not in any order of importance or seriousness, and while some artists have to deal with only one or two of these issues, some find themselves suffering from nearly all of them. The first step is to consider each issue in relation to your own situation, and determine, honestly, what impact it has on your art-making.

1. Fear of failure/criticism

2. Unrealistic expectation

3. Self-doubt (lack of confidence)

4. Self-discipline

5. Success

6. Choice of medium

7. Time

8. Procrastination

10. Lack of focus

11. Multi-tasking

12. Misunderstanding of your intent

13. Misunderstanding yourself

14. Packrat

15. Perfectionism

16. Inertia/lethargy


“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”   David Bly



Wyeth quote

Artists today think of everything they do as a work of art. It is important to forget about what you are doing, then a work of art may happen. — Andrew Wyeth

Talent: more thoughts

After my ramblings yesterday on the subject of talent, it seemed very timely that my teabag offered up this quotation this morning:

“Your talent is as great as you practice it to be” Keisha J. McLean

I have no idea who Keisha J. McLean is…..but in my Googling attempts to find out (which I never did) I came across several other bloggers who were also struck by the wisdom of Keisha.

It meshes rather nicely with one of my all-time favorite quotes, by Sydney Harris:
“Self discipline without talent can often achieve astounding results, whereas talent without self-discipline inevitably dooms itself to failure.”

I have had this posted in my studio for many years. I need to read it regularly, as self-discipline is not my greatest virtue.

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