The Educators: Conversations between books.

Robert Henri said that you get two kinds of people the student and the non-student. Being a perpetual student I picked two teachers that taught me how to be aware of the weak characteristics of being an artist :

*Celaya, Enrique Martinez “The Blog. Bad Time for Poetry.” Whale & Star. 2009
*Henri, Robert, “The Art Spirit.” First Icon. 1984.

CAVEAT FOR THE SINS OF THE ARTIST:

DOUBT~
Robert Henri :”Be sure that your decisions are really made by yourself. Decisions made by yourself may be of a nature very unexpected. In other words, very few people know what they want, very few people know what they think. Many think and do not know it and many thinking they are thinking and are not thinking.”(Henri, pg 213)
Enrique Martinez Celaya:”Art, like life, depends in part on desperate passion and faith amid unshakable doubts. A leap of faith must not only be taken despite doubts but in fact depends on those doubts. There is no leap without doubts.” (Celaya, pg 112)

SUPERFICIAL~
RH:”There are painters who paint pictures with spiritual titles but whose motives are purely materialistic…We have seen superficial painters rise, have a storm of approval, and then disappear from notice.”(Henri pg 95)
EMC:”Some of us feel like hypocrites when we call for ambition of spirit and authenticity in the work of art, knowing we don’t ask for the same in our own lives. And we learn to accept trivial and cowardly gestures as significant and brave because in them we sense our own failings.” (Celaya, pg 94)

ARROGANCE~
RH:”I once met a man who told me that I always had an exaggerated idea of things. He said, “Look at me , I am never excited.” I looked at him and he was not exciting. For once I did not over-appreciate.” (Henri, pg 102)
EMC:”…I have been circumnavigating my discomfort with the whininess, arrogance and fraud that has so pervasively invaded our lives. Many of us have a ready justification for why we are less than we could be and a ways to look at things that makes us think we are really more than what we have become.” (Celaya, pg 127)

EXCUSES~
RH:”It is necessary to work very continuously and valiantly, and never apologetically. In fact , to be ever on the job so that we may find ourselves there, brush in hand, when the great moment does arrive.”(Robert, pg 93)
EMC:”All artists should assume they have – at best- a tiny talent, and this reality doesn’t have to be entirely sad. If you are doing better work today than two years ago then things are looking up. Stop treading water. Stop diffusing your sadness. Stop being small. Get rid of your excuses” (Celaya, pg 147)

LAZINESS~
RH:”Like to do your work as much as a dog likes to gnaw a bone and go at it with equal interest and exclusion of everything else. (Robert pg 167) ” Be a warhorse for work, and enjoy even the struggle against defeat. Keep painting, it’s the best thing in the world to do.” (Robert, pg 232)
EMC:”But what do people do with their time if they are not working towards the fulfillment of their humanity? Day to day, they are watching television, dabbling at their work, talking on the phone, feeling sorry for themselves, taking it easy, wasting time. In the long run, they are busy fabricating the lie of why they are not who they could have been.” (Celaya, pg 152)

HYPOCRISY~
RH:” It is a question of saying the thing that a person has to say. A man should not care whether the thing he wishes to express is art or not, whether it is a picture or not, he should only care that it is a statement of what is worthy to put into permanent expression.” (Robert, pg 137)
EMC:”In contrast to the perspective offered by distance, our daily living favors the immediate and the fashionable, and sometimes persuaded by that immediacy as well as by cultural repetition and the desire to seem informed, people praise the artistic merit of dubious artworks, and moral flexibility and status anxiety encourage these colorful evaluations.”(Celaya, pg 93)

DECEIT~
RH:”Today man stands in his own way. He puts a criterion in the way of his own revelation and development. He would be better than he is and because man judges poorly he fails to become as good as he might be. He should take his restraining hand off himself, should defy fashion and let himself be. ..The works of the masters are what they are because they are evidences from men who dare to be like themselves.” (Robert, pg 187)
EMC:” At times, the need for clarity and precision requires terms and methods that might not be familiar to everyone. But arcane notions ought to be tools in the search for truths rather than veils to hide lies. It is more productive to study great thinkers to understand the mechanism of their thought than to find a quotable phrase or a hook for one’s deficiencies: even minor understanding of a good mind brings forth humility. The temptation is always there to firm our soft understanding with the prop of the big word or the important framework, but these affectations tend to hide truths not only from others but from ourselves as well.” (Celaya, pg 57)

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By | 2017-07-12T13:05:40+00:00 May 20th, 2011|

One Comment

  1. lauren May 22, 2011 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Thank-You Anja♡

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