Archive for May 13th, 2011

The Need for Solitude

The artist must actively cultivate
that state which most people avoid:
the state of being alone.
-James Baldwin


I spoke with a drawing class from a local college yesterday.  I always feel like I could have done a much better job with these things and yesterday was no different.  I left thinking that I hadn’t fully expressed fully all the advice or warnings I might have wanted to offer.  I had sped over the idea of taking a  mindset for their work that makes it apparent that they view their work as important.  The idea here is that if you don’t take your work seriously, how can you expect others to  do the same?  I don’t think I got that fully across.

The one thing I did stay on was the value and need for solitiude in their work, how they must embrace being alone with their thoughts and work in order to take their work to its fullest potential.  They should be honest with themselves and if they are uneasy about being and working alone, this is not a path they should follow.  I told them that the solitude was actually the big attraction for me and that, even as I spoke with them, I was wishing I was back in the studio.  Alone.

Creation is most often done in solitude.  There have been successful artistic collaborations through the years but they seldom have the impact and power of the singular voice and vision.  And this is most often forged in solitude.

Maybe I’m biased towards this idea because of my cultivated  affinity for being alone.  I don’t know nor do I really care.  As the glorious Garbo said, ” I just want to be alone.”


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