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Inspiration





 
Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.
         - Henry Miller, Wisdom of the Heart


Gail Baker, No More

Art

    Making art is instinctive, like learning to speak in words.  There are ancient cave paintings and rock carvings on every continent. Perhaps our imagination desires this visual language, or perhaps it is because our imagination gives access to spirit, and by making art we can feel a tangible connection to spirit that is otherwise so intangible.  
    One of the most exciting parts of my teaching experience over the years has been that I have never seen one student make an image that is exactly the same as another's image; no two paintings or sculptures are alike.  There may be a relationship, but the artwork of two people is never identical.  Here in this place is the unique and magical difference of our persons.  Yet I constantly hear students dismissing their work and their process: "It was just my imagination," or "My imagination is odd to me, I don't know where it comes from."  Students have also bemoaned their lack of imagination: "I don't have any imagination and therefore I can't make art.'" "That didn't really happen, it was just my imagination."
            --Nancy Azara, Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual 
                    Practice of Making Art

Making images is as natural a human endeavor as speaking.  The necessity to communicate with the world underlies both, and both are means to touch, explore, and create the world.  Both verbal and visual language develop very early in life and are soon practiced by all children.  ... However, whereas all normally functioning people, having once learned to speak, go on speaking throughout their life, very few people continue making images.  It would seem that a major contributing factor must be how we have been taught to make images.  We have learned to be embarrassed by our efforts.  We have learned to feel so inept and disenfranchised from our own visual expressions that we simply cease doing it altogether.
Peter London, No More Secondhand Art

The purpose of creating art is seen first as the creation of a preferred self rather than an inherited self; subsequently as the creation of things, which celebrates and enhances the world.
Peter London, No More Secondhand Art

[Painting] is about the alive act of moment-to-moment listening to the flashes of thought at the periphery of perception, and responding in color and form.
                    - Natalie Goldberg, forward to Life, Paint and Passion

It is the basic tenet of this book that the creative process is enough.  It is not only enough, it is a doorway into a direct experience of the essential life force which is at the root of the urge to create art.  It is the process itself--in the creative energy it releases, in the new perceptions it brings, and in the deepening connection with oneself it fosters--that is at the heart of the desire to paint.  To make this the whole point of painting is a simple, yet radical act.
      - Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cubley, Life, Paint and Passion

Our experience, after working with many different types of people, is that a hidden wave of passion lies just below the surface of most people's lives, a passion yearning to be liberated from the paralyzing myths of talent, skill, inspiration, accomplishment, success and failure, and just plain not being good enough.  This book is about daring to let that passion speak.  It is time to throw off the shackles, to reclaim that which every child knows and is taught to forget: the essential right to create without interference or shame.
       - Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cubley, Life, Paint and Passion

Each of us has a well of images within, which are the saving reality and from which may be born the individual myth carrying the meaning of life.  [For some of these questions] there are no intellectual answers.  Only the images by which we live can bring transformation.
            - Helen Luke, The Way of Woman

Writing

I am not a writer, except when I write. 

            - Juan Carlos Onetti


Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrit[ing] in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. 

            - John Steinbeck