I am often inspired by words, great quotations, phrases, etc. I will read them or hear them and they will resonate with me for a while. They help me, I think, to be a better teacher, to learn how to speak in a language that will, hopefully, inspire my students to make art. Today, at the end of one of my friend Gemma Black’s e-mails I read this quote…

“”Know what the old masters did. Know how they composed their
pictures, but do not fall into the conventions they established.
These conventions were right for them, and they are wonderful. They
made their language. You make yours. They can help you. All the past
can help you.”

Robert Henri 1865 – 1929

Thank you, Gemma! The quote speaks to me in many ways. First of all, if you are going to make art, you probably should know a bit about it. Not just about the materials and processes, but studying the “Old Masters” can help with your sense of design and composition, color theory, etc.  And the depth, oh the depth that is in a true “masterpiece”. That is what is lacking in so much of the published “art” these days. And that depth will only come if you “use your own language”. Being an original is never easy – but always worth the effort!

The image is a small abstract that I did about a year ago. It’s something that I was particularly happy with – something that I feel speaks my own language.