Pegasus departing, oil on canvas, 1901, from the Smithsonian collection
"The canvass I began ten years ago I shall perhaps complete today or tomorrow. It has been ripening under the sunlight of the years that come and go. It is not that a canvass should be worked at. It is a wise artist who knows when to cry half in his composition, but it should be pondered over in his heart and worked out with prayer and fasting."
Albert Pinkham Ryder, The Artists on Art
The journey of making a painting is a mysterious one, that takes a combination of patience, courage and humility. I often have thought that the poverty so commonly woven into the artist's life, may be there to teach us humility. One of the biggest battles we have to face as an artist, is just walking through the studio door. I don't know how many times I walked into the studio in the morning -feeling all painted out, and dumb --only to leave for lunch feeling like Elvis walking off the stage from his third encore, (OK, maybe not quite Elvis but you get the idea).
Time is on our side. We don't need to be in a hurry we just need to keep showing up. We need to know what it means to take care of ourselves, to be patient with the process -and open to change. If we can only become like children at play -and trust that even if our journey includes more than a few knife fights, it will end well.