Sunday, July 12, 2009

Henry Miller on Painting - Part 4

Being that Henry Miller is also highly skilled at the written word, I am taken by his clarity in describing the the process of creating art.

Here is a passage from a letter written for Henry's friend Emil Schnellock in the book, Paint As You Like And Die Happy.

"The greatest joy, and the greatest triumph, in art comes at the moment when, realizing to the fullest your grip over the medium, you deliberately sacrifice it in the hope of discovering a vital hidden truth within you. It comes like a reward for patience-this freedom of mastery which is born of the hardest discipline. Then,no matter what you do or say, you are absolutely right and nobody dare criticize you.

I sense this very often in looking at Picasso's work. The great freedom and spontaneity he reveals is born, one feels, because of the impact, the pressure, the support of the whole being which, for an endless period, has been subservient to the discipline of the spirit. The most careless gesture is as right, as true, as valid, as the most carefully planned strokes. This I know,and nobody could convince me to the contrary. Picasso here is only demonstrating a wisdom of life which the sage practices on another, higher level."

Thought provoking, isn't it?

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