upcoming studio equipment purchases:
1 single burner hot plate
1 double-boiler pan
For artists to obsess about their art is desirable but also troubling. To obsess is to feeled pulled about by one's thoughts, agitated, distracted, and separated from other life matters of vital importance. To obsess too virulently is to walk alone in anxiety. But to obsess too little is to wall oneself off from one's own creativity. Maintaining awareness of this distinction is an artist's everlasting duty. Artists must obsess, but they must also manufacture their own shutdown systems, their own ways of giving the brain a rest.
"The ideas for stories that thronged my brain would not let me rest till I had got rid of them by writing them." W. Somerset Maugham
"I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they're not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It's a dream that won't come true." Berthe Morisot
"The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts." Vincent van Gogh
"Wherever I go, I collect sand." Connie Zehr
"A mind too active is no mind at all." Theodore Roethke
For Art to come into existence, it must be obsessed about. Therefore I must cultivate a positive obsessiveness. But obsession is a dangerous neccessity. I will monitor my obsessiveness and strive to manage my anxieties: I want to obsess because I am working deeply, not because I am worrying myself to death.
excerpted from Affirmations For Artists by Eric Maisel
published by G.P. Putnam's Sons (NYC)