“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” Michelangelo Buonarroti

The Beauty in UglinessTry explaining this to a fellow who’s just spent $350 on art supplies, thinking if only he had the right brush, all his troubles would be over.  His masterpiece is always around the corner.  So many of us place the wrong obstacles in our path.  We often call them dreams, which if only would come true, life would be complete.  Until that time, we remain in misery, unfulfilled.

We say, “if only my hand were more skilled, if I had more talent, then I would be happy.”  I remember doing some of my best portraits in a furnace room, with a pull chain bulb for light.  Some fights make us stronger.  Some weaken us.

Fighting the good fight sometimes means fighting for what’s in front of you, right now.  This is the fight that’s worth the effort.  I tell my students to paint with sticks, with their left hand, their teeth, in the fading light, outside, standing on an ant pile, No-see-ems sticking to their painting.   Being a starving artist early in my career I had to be very clever to get my work done.  This cleverness empowered me and fed my brightest ideas.  It still does.

One thing I’ve learned in my Yoga practice is to remain calm and alert through all the difficulties life presents me with.   Stay focused on the idea, the subject, the impetus, no matter what.  And keep breathing.  This is is the path to creative enlightenment.


If you like/don’t like or want to add your thoughts to the conversation, I encourage you to comment.  Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today.   I offer career coaching for those serious about a career in art. Don’t forget to check out  The Portrait – a painting video  and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.

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