Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Does Art Make the Life? Or Life Make the Art?

"Nothing very extraordinary happened really. 
But the life we lived was amazing." 
~Angelica Bell

(Angelica Bell and friend, Charleston House, 1978. Photo by Howard Grey.)

We are all artists, every single one of us. 
Our canvas is our lives.  
Every choice we make is a dot that goes onto our canvas.
At first, the dots are tiny and scattered and seemingly unconnected.
But gradually, over time, a picture appears. 

Living is an art.

Don't let anyone tell you differently.
(And don't let anyone tell you it's easy.)
It takes hard work to keep life simple.
It requires focus to make it meaningful.
Sometimes it feels like a balancing act between learning to hang on and learning to let go. 
But your art is your life. 

"It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much, doing nothing, really doing nothing."  
~Gertrude Stein

(Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas with their poodle Basket, 1938. 
Photo by Cecil Beaton.)
Creating a good work of art takes time.
It demands patience.
It can't be rushed.
There will be days, months, years even, when you look at your canvas and think all the time you've spent on it has been for nothing.
But that's just exactly when you have to keep on going.
Because the day will arrive when you realize that all those insignificant little dots were adding up to something extraordinary.

"There are some things that cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things, and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave."  
~Ernest Hemingway

(Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, date unknown, via)

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