“Nothing in the world takes the place of persistence.
Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
We are learning that a painter must be fearless, patient, humble, and without too much preconception. They must constantly ask themselves, “Is it working?” They must listen to the divine, and be obedient to each unfolding leading. Painting is prayer, perceiving, inspiring, modulating, applying, connecting, attentive.
A story was told about Helen Wood Bauman, a writer on spirituality who wrote thousands of articles for the periodicals. When asked about where she got her ideas from she replied, “Oh, my dear, it is like holding up a teacup to Niagara Falls!” This was a powerful image for me since I feel the rushing flood of ideas and can only catch a small portion of the ever-present deluge of them.
In the evening we first had a slideshow presentation by Monique Stauder (see her website here). She came all the way from Bangkok to teach this photography session here! She took three years to encircle the globe at the equator photographing her odyssey in black and white images. Her book Latitude Zero, will come out in 2010. She longed for a “life without keys” and learned that, “When you’re passionate about something, things just fall into place.” She said that, “With every difficulty there was a beautiful moment.” She came to see “the ending as beginning and the beginning as perfection.” What mattered most, and routinely opened doors, were simply the qualities of courage, compassion and authenticity. In her photography, she focuses on utilizing the whole picture frame, both foreground and background, and likes to think of windows as transparencies for Truth. To her, “Photography is dancing with light.”
The evening ended with a question and answer session for the panel of teachers. Below is some of their collective advise:
- Prioritize your art to take it to the next level.
- Bury a personal sense of ego which is a huge stumbling block for any artist.
- Effective listening is incredibly important.
- Ideas can come from any source and ideas are infinite.
- Give your art intensity of attention.
- Share your art. You are doing it to make a contribution.
- Life is seamless; refuse compartmentalization and fragmentation.
- Drop comparing yourself with others.
- Do contour before detail in both life and art.
- Draw shapes not things!
- Strive for excellence!
Above and below, see my paintings from my last day. Tomorrow we have camp-wide presentations by the students and then we leave! We had a nice sunset for a sweet sendoff.