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ART PERSPECTIVES

...from the note pad of Shirley Reade

What kind of progress do you hope to achieve this coming year in your painting? your teaching? your business? In what ways would you like to move ahead?

The great cellist, Pablo Casals was known for playing his cello well into his eighties and nineties. He would start each day by playing Bach, and as his fingers played the notes his posture was transformed, his shoulders straightened, and his eyes recaptured the glint of life and joy. Music was his life and music made him come alive. He was faithful in practicing his instrument four or five hours a day. When asked why, at his age, he still worked so hard, he replied, "Beause, I have a notion that I am making some progress."

We, too, ought to have the notion that we are making some progress...that through our love of painting, we're moving ahead in the quality of our artwork and in the quality of instruction we're giving to our students. Life does not allow us to stand still. If we are not moving forward in growth, the best we can hope for is to maintain what we have achieved with practice. There is so much talent within us yet to be explored and developed, so much yet to learn of art and creativity, so much that we have yet to offer the world, that to not do so is to say that we are finished with life.

Robert Henri, a noted turn-of-the century artist and teacher, stated that a "Master" is not one who is finished or through with learning, but is, instead, open minded and curious about the world. Indeed, a Master is one whose enthusiasm for learning propels him forward, always improving, refining, and moving toward excellence in the quality of his creation.

Perhaps we could use Robert Henri's definition of a Master as a beacon before us! Rather than someone who chooses to be finished with life and closed to its unfolding possibilities, let us be ever-learning and ever-evolving as we move steadily ahead, striving to achieve a higher quality in both art and teaching.

________Art Quote_______

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it is in every one. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
...Nelson Mandela