Pearls from artists* # 253June 21, 2017
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
There is a notion that creative people are absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations. It is, hopefully, true. For they are in another world altogether. It is a world where the third self is governor. Neither is the purity of art the innocence of childhood, if there is such a thing. One’s life as a child, with all its emotional rages and ranges, is but grass for the winged horse – it must be chewed well in those savage teeth. There are irreconcilable differences between acknowledging and examining the fabulations of one’s past and dressing them up as though they were adult figures, fit for art, which they will never be. The working, concentrating artist is an adult who refuses interruption from himself, who remains absorbed and energized in and by the work – who is responsible to the work.
Mary Oliver in Upstream: Selected Essays
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