"It seems to me that today, if the artist wishes to be serious - cut out a little original niche for himself, or at least preserve his own innocence of personality - he must once more sink himself in solitude. There is too much talk and gossip; pictures are apparently made, like stock market prices, by the competition of people eager for profit; in order to do anything at all we need (so to speak) the wit and ideas of our neighbors as much as the businessmen need the funds of others in order to win on the market. All this traffic sharpens our intelligence and falisifies our judgement." ~ Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917, taken from an early notebook.
I am adding a new section entitled In Their Words located on the sidebar to the right side of this page. I also hope, from time to time, to post what I hope to become a series of blog posts for discussion under the same title. The inspiration for this new material comes from a little paperback book I stumbled upon at a used bookstore. I have been reading (off and on for the past year), Artists on Art, from the XIV to the XX Century by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves. It's an anthology of writings, on the subject of art, gleaned from 142 artists throughout the centuries. A few of the writings are taken from more formal "academic" talks given by the artist themselves, but most are from personal letters or journals the artists wrote in their own hand. I love this book. It is a gem. It is direct and intimate, a view into the lives and experiences of the 'masters' and beyond, a view into the social and cultural values of their times and an insight into the difficulty of creating. It is also, in my opinion, a view into the present, as the journey we are on as artists, is not so different from those that went before us. I hope you enjoy these 'pearls' as much as I do and I hope they provoke some thought. ~ Nancy