05 February 2008

Renoir: The two qualities of art

Pierre Auguste Renoir, the Impressionist painter, said many great things about art. Here's one that really resonates for me:
"Shall I tell you what I think are the two qualities of art? It must be indescribable and inimitable... The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passions; it is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion..."
I love that description. It's not about technique or skill or the materials. As the artist or as someone viewing the art, it's about being swept up in the art and the emotion behind it.

I think that it's important not to postpone creating art because you need more practice, or a bigger block of time, or you still need to buy such-and-such. Just make the art. If it conveys anything about how you feel, that's good enough.

Keep making art, no matter what.

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