liquid gold, photograph
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.”
– Martha Graham
I don’t think I’ve heard or read a better reason than this to pursue one’s art in the face of obstacle, doubt or lack of motivation. What Graham says is surely true.
Because we are all unique, each piece of art we create could not have come from anywhere or anyone else and any choice we make to not create it means it is lost forever.
I believe, in fact, that at any given moment, our choice to not express ourselves means that, even for us, that piece is lost forever. Tomorrow or the next day our attitude, our spirit, our intent will be different and what we create will also be different. Any opportunity to express ourselves by creating art is precious because it exists in a singular confluence of time, place and identity.
Just think what you might have made. Don’t hesitate – create!
interesting and true– each artist is unique and different and should pursue their own style– but I see so many artists living for the next demo– they love to watch another artist paint something and then try to copy it- they want to know the exact colors and the exact brush and paper and so on… do artists who use a camera have the same problem?
Yes, this also occurs in photography.
I’ve been at workshops where the instructor takes the group to a scenic location, takes a great shot and all the students line up with their tripods in the exact same spot and take the same picture. And, of course, the classic question I get from photographers when I show my work is “What camera do you use?”. Workshop participants are notorious for going out and buying the same gear their instructor uses – which in photography can be extremely expensive!
I actually think that this process is not all bad – it is part of the growth of all artists to ask, to emulate. I’ve done it myself at times.
It becomes a problem when one gets stuck there and can’t let it go.
so true— it is certainly good to learn new techniques and processes, but then it is up the artist to move on and incorporate them into their own work. I did not know your wife Susan painted in watercolor and has her own blog– or that she took my workshop a year ago or so… since you live down in CA. I assume it was when I taught a workshop for the California Watercolor Assoc. What a small world. I will be back down in CA next April when I am scheduled to teach a workshop for the San Diego watercolor society. Love it down there.
I love this quote and will share it with my students. Personally when I start giving myself this advise I begin to drive myself crazy! THere are only so many hours in the day.