Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Following Something Along

In the Floracliff woods, a year later
 I have a favorite book called Creative Autheniticity, by landscape painter Ian Roberts.  It could just as well be called To Thine Own Self be True. Roberts tells it like it is; that sooner or later we will know that we just have to be ourselves.  We can't help it.

     In the book, Roberts lays out 16 principles to clarify and deepen your artistic vision. My favorite principle at the moment is: Follow Something Along. Roberts makes the point that many of the great artists actually had one theme that they elaborated on for much of their career.  It is not necessary to take on the whole world to express yourself as an artist.

        I was thinking about this over the weekend when I returned to Floracliff for a walk in the autumn woods. A year ago, I was present at Floracliff for the 400th birthday of Woody, the chinquapin oak (please see my original post Into the Woods and later post Into the Woods, Part II.)  If there is a place that I am always at home, it is in the woods. Not only do I feel at home, but I feel elated, even though I am at the base of the trees and not in the heady upper branches.  It is very clear that this is my artistic theme. While I enjoy painting people, animals and all sorts of places, I'll always want to come back to the woods.  This is the vein to be mined, the bone to be gnawed.  Let me add this quote that Roberts includes:

Like to do your work as much as a dog likes to
gnaw a bone and go at it with equal interest and exclusion
of everything else.   ---- Robert Henry

       I highly recommend this book! 
Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision
                                                           by Ian Roberts, published by the Atelier Saint-Luc Press
Dancing Landscape  Floracliff 2010

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