At my table this morning I realized that the way I’m working right now contradicts the way I was doing it a couple of weeks ago. well, vagaries of the erratic mind. I am never able to work on one project continuously, I do project hopping. I will believe strongly in one technique or the other, before I change opinion or methodology. Many accomplished artists and writers have been known to do that. There seems to be more than one way to Rome. There’s no universal way to prime a canvas, frame a painting, or get inspired.

In art, contradiction is a principle.

Painting Sir James Guthrie (1859-1930)

Painting Sir James Guthrie (1859-1930)

As always, my mentor Robert comes to the rescue. He wrote to me :

Here are a few of the principles:

Choose your influences, mentors and instructors carefully. Having lots of books at hand gives you an overview. It may still allow you to run off with the boy next door.

Be honest with your true self. “Know thyself” is inscribed in stone at the Delphic Oracle. Maintain your personal dignity by not suffering fools, and don’t participate in what you consider a sham. Think it out and you’ll be able to live with it, even if it’s contradictory to what others are doing.

Test the systems. “Hands on” lets you know whether you can get your mind and abilities around your dreams. We think more inventively and originally when we’re up to our elbows in the muck of our passion.

To pastures new James Guthrie 1882

To pastures new
James Guthrie 1882



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Filed under Latest Story, Me & My Art, The making of Me

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