Part 5 of a series. See also Part 1, Part 2 & 3, and Part 4
CREATORS’ FEELINGS, EMOTIONS
- “(Creators) who lose their youthful rebelliousness are in grave danger of losing their talent as well” (Robert Jourdain).
- “Art depends heavily on feelings, intuition, taste. It is feeling, not some rules, that tells the abstract painter to put his yellow here and there, not there, and may later tell him that it should have been brown or purple or pea-
green. It is feeling that makes the composer break surprisingly from his key, feeling that gives the writer the rhythms of his sentences, the pattern of rise and fall in his episodes, the proportion of alternating elements, so that dialogue goes on only so long before a shift to description or narrative summary or some physical action. The great writer has an instinct for these things” (John Gardner).
- “Every day the rejected manuscripts would come through the slot in the door…I’d sit at that old wooden table and read one of those cold slips that had been attached to a story I had loved and worked on very hard and believed in, and I couldn’t help crying” (Ernest Hemingway).
- “One of the marks of a gift is to have the courage of it” (Katherine Anne Porter).
- “The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity” (William Faulkner).
- “Research has found that uncontrollable anger is common among creative geniuses of all stripes. Always reaching for the impossible, life can be a long series of obstacles and frustrations” (Robert Jourdain).
- “It seems to me that the writers who have the power of revelation are just those who, in some particular part of life, have seen or felt considerably more than the average run of intelligent beings” (Gilbert Murray).
- “Writing is harder than anything else. It’s much easier to wash dishes” (Kristin Hunter).
- “It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything” (Virginia Woolf).
- “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon one can never resist or understand” (George Orwell).
- “History shows that the less people read, the more books they buy” (Albert Camus).
- “The only writers left who have anything to say are those who write about practically nothing and monkey around with odd ways of doing it” (Raymond Chandler).
- “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous” (Robert Benchley).
- “The only drama which really interests me and that I should always be willing to depict anew is the debate of the individual with whatever keeps him from being authentic, with whatever is opposed to his integrity” (Andre Gide).
- “When men ask me how I know so much about men, they get a simple answer: everything I know about men I learned from me” (Anton Chekhov).
- “If you are silent for a long time, people just arrive” (Alice Walker).
- “For the writer there is only endless memory” (Anita Bruckner).
- “The classical authors you still read today are not those who said the truest things. But those whose language has preserved a trace of them” (Jean Guitton).
- “It would be as hard to predict the dancing flight of a flock of finches, or the subterranean movements of a single mole, as to explain a great writer’s peculiar gift” (Llewelyn Powys).
- “A writer is interesting because of his peculiar perspective. Can this perspective be taught? I think not…A
beginning writer hesitates to anoint himself, to make a declaration of his very special character. And so he seeks institutional support. He goes to the universities and gets a Ph.D. in creative writing and feels himself armed for the struggle. Like any other licensed professional. But this is social assistance rather than creativity.” (Saul Bellow).
The art featured in this post is by the talented artist Steven V. Ward whose work can be found on FineArtAmerica. His beautiful images attracted my attention on social media, and he kindly gave me permission to display some of them in this post.
- “I alone here, on my inch of earth, paint this thing for my own sole joy, and according to my own sole mind. So I should paint it, if no other human being existed but myself…Thus I must do it, for thus I see it, and thus I like it” (John Ruskin).
- “One man in particular has the faculty of inflaming your imagination till you feel ready to declare him one of the bringers of heavenly fire. And yet his art is mad. Your first impulse is to laugh at these staggering cottages with flaming red roofs, or the blaze of rockets and Catherine-wheels supposed to represent night. But your laugh dies on your lips; you go on gazing, stupefied yet interested; and when you leave the exhibition, you do not know whether you have been looking at the pictures of a madman or not, but you have forgotten all the other pictures in the room” ( (From a review by Cecelia Waern of a painting by Vincent van Gogh in 1892).
- “Like other creators, artists exhibited androgynous personalities, meaning that they were not concerned with
their actions being viewed as masculine or feminine” (Jane Piirto).
- Other performing artists try to give the definitive performance of a work, a role, a score, but ballet dancers have even higher standards that apply only to dancers. The standard against which dancers measure their performance is not simply that of the highest excellence. “Every serious dancer is driven by notions of perfection–perfect expression, perfect technique…In no other art can one find a comparable gap between what the world thinks of a star and what the star thinks about himself or herself, between the adulation that pours from the outside and the relentless dissatisfaction that goads one from within…Part of being a dancer is this cruelly self-punishing objectivity about one’s shortcomings, as viewed from the perspective of an ideal observer, one more exacting than any real spectator could ever be”(Susan Sontag).
- “The great moments (in theatre) are almost always connected with the personality of an actor or actors” (Tyrone Guthrie).
- “The most perfect (musical) instrument in the world is the composer’s mind. Every conceivable tone-quality and
beauty of nuance, every harmony and disharmony, or any number of simultaneous melodies can be heard at will by the trained composer; he can hear not only the sound of any instrument or combination of instruments, but also an almost infinite number of sounds which cannot yet be produced on any instrument” (Henry Cowell).
© 2017 David J. Rogers
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