One of my favorite books about art-making and creativity is Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit.
Here are a few passages that stood out to me:
“…we must get rid of this outside feeling of looking in on art. We must get on the inside and press out. Art is simply a result of expression during right feeling. It’s a result of a grip on the fundamentals of nature, the spirit of life, the constructive force, the secret of growth, a real understanding of the relative importance of things, order, balance. Any material will do. After all, the object is not to make art, but to be in the wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”
“All things change according to the state we are in. Nothing is fixed.”
“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.”
Henri (1865-1929) was an American painter and teacher. Click here to read more of my thoughts on The Art Spirit: