Pearls from artists* # 106August 27, 2014
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Yet even I, who track the hours closely, understand that one pleasure of art-making is its resolute inefficiency. It resists the sweep of the second hand; it is opposite to my daily muster of punch lists, telephone calls, day job requirements, family life, and errands. The necessary thought may come today or next week. Yet it’s not the same as leisure. The struggle toward the next thought is rigorous, held within an isometric tension. The poet Richard Wilbur writes about laundry drying on the line, “moving and staying like white water.” Moving and staying. Such water, familiar to anyone who has watched a brook rush over rocks, captures the way a creative practice insists you bear time. You must hold still and wait, and yet you must push forward.
Janna Malamud Smith in An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery
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