Archive for May 6th, 2009

Brilliant Determination

If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.

– Samuel Johnson



I’ve been thinking about determination a lot lately.  There are times when nothing seems to come easily and it seems like there are any number of things that would be more enjoyable than struggling forward with your chosen endeavor.  But in the end you force yourself ahead.  There’s a greater satisfaction in struggling with that which you have chosen and feel is meaningful than in doing something that means little to your inner self even though it is easier and, in many cases, more entertaining.

This is something I keep in mind when I’m in the studio.  There are many days when nothing comes easily, every stroke is like lifting a heavy weight and inspiration seems to have left the building long ago.  In these moments self doubts begin to stir and I seriously wonder if I have reached an end to my creative life.  It’s like a dull pain that seems like will be with me forever and there are points I want to stop.

But I remember that this is the path that I chose to follow.  With that recognition I am reminded of other times when I have been at this point before and I know, I just know, that if I steel my mind and force myself to move ahead, one small step in front of another, that I will come to a point  where all this forced energy builds and builds and suddenly breaks free.  In this moment of release, everything suddenly seems effortless and inspiration is everywhere.  It’s like going from the dark depths of a stifling mine to the top of a cool mountain.

And the memory of the toil that it has taken to reach this point fades into the distance.

Until the next time.  And that’s where determination is needed once more.

That’s what I see in this new piece above which is destined for my upcoming show.  I was given the title, Brilliant Determination,  by my friend Mary Squire who submitted it in the Name This Painting! contest.  I immediately saw the connection with this title and this painting and felt this piece deserved such a title.  This painting is definitely about the determination I’ve written about.  It has a feeling of that moment of release, that moment when full momentum is realized.  It really is brilliant determination.  Thanks for the title, Mary…




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