Friday, July 30, 2010

The Artist's World

It's a faint path, this trying to live life as an artist in the later stage of life.  I keep looking for signs that say "This Way. 433 Miles to Destination."  There are no signs.  But fortunately there are guides who leave bread crumbs along the way.  And, if you're lucky ... and diligent ... you can find the trail before the birds and the winds and rains have erased the path.

One of my favorite guides is the artist and world traveler Robert Genn who writes a twice-weekly newsletter that is always filled with encouragement, advice and tales of explorations of new places, whether geographic or creative.  Today he writes about the artist's world and states: Thriving artists remain curious, experimental, joyful, self-critical and driven by a state of perpetual studenthood.

"Perpetual studenthood"
really struck me because that's what I want to be for the rest of my life ... a student of  life, the world and of the process of capturing small glimpses of reality and possibility in some form of art.  Perhaps in this statement there is an answer to the question I've been chewing on.  While I still have some difficulty proclaiming myself as an artist, I relish the idea of being a perpetual art student.

Genn always includes a PS that is often my favorite part of his messages.  Today's PS is a quote from Samuel Adoquei:
"Combine all your healthy wishes, dreams and hopes into investing in your talent and in the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. If your art contributes to society, or to the art enthusiasts around you, then you are rewarded honestly, and more so if you make yourself useful to the world around you."
After the PS, Genn ends each message with an "Esoterica" ... today's is:
When you start to see your art as a service to others, and you begin to believe in the societal aspects of it, you begin to thrive. It is a benefit for others to invest in the character you have nurtured and developed. Your world can be larger than the worlds of others, because you exact standards from yourself that others may not reach for or care to grasp. Our world is a privilege, an opportunity and an obligation.
Living a life that is a privilege, an opportunity and an obligation ... does it get any better than that?

About the image:  On my morning walks while I was staying in Bass Lake, I would pass this incredible rock wall filled with trees, streams and forest creatures, all crafted carefully from natural rock.  This is just a small piece of this work of art.


  1. Thank you for the introduction to Genn. I'm going to go look at his newsletter.

    Love the image, how you see and then you don't before you have to stop and focus. Wonderful.

  2. For some reason the link above did not work. The site is this one:

  3. Thanks Maureen ... I fixed the link.