“Tam Gan,” oil on canvas, by the American Ashcan school artist Robert
Henri. Courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. (Photo credit:
Are you an artist?
Robert Henri begins The Art Spirit (1923), this way:
Art when really understood is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything well. It is not an outside, extra thing. When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages to be written.
While he might word things more inclusively today, his insights at the heyday of the industrial revolution are even more needed today. The people needed in every field, are not more rule followers, do it the same old way thinkers, never rock the boat sailors or closed-minded “arguers.”We need more artists. People who disturb, upset, enlighten and open the way for others. This is the spirit of the artist who is true to him or herself and true to the age in which we live. We choose whether to punch the clock and crank out work or add more of ourselves into it – creating better work, a better work place and a better world. Embrace the artist spirit.
For those who pursue art as a calling, we need open minds, hearts and books as well. There are more pages to write! Embrace the spirit and do the work.There are more pages to write!
Footnote: As you have noticed, I am still trying out new URLs for this blog. Theartistspirit.com seems to come a bit closer, combining the spiritual, vocational and practical elements involved in the mystery and practice of art and life. I also like the way “heart” sneaks into the mix.
English: 1900 photograph of Robert Henri, by Gertrude Kasebier (1853–1934) Category:Robert Henri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)