Archive for January 26th, 2023

Henri Matisse -the red studio

Henri Matisse- The Red Studio

You study, you learn, but you guard the original naïveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.

― Henri Matisse

I can always turn to Henri Matisse for something interesting, either in his work or in his words. While he was prolific in his painting there is also a wealth of quotes, interviews and essays from him that give insight into a warmly wise and giving spirit. I will admit that there are painters whose body of work more readily excite me but the words of Matisse never fail to provide inspiration and reassurance when I am seeking some form of validation of what I am doing.

For instance, he speaks of maintaining one’s own original naïveté as one learns and grows as an artist. That rawness and the natural sense of excitement that comes with it, is something I have also felt was important to maintain even as my craft has grown. I see the raw energy of naïveté as the blood that gives a painting its life force, that allows the viewer to see past the improbabilities and imperfections and see the beauty and truth being presented.

Maintaining that naïveté is much more difficult than you might think. One part of that is constantly battling against the proficiency gained through years of practice. The work becomes too polished or too real, too attached to the visible.

Too much of the outer world.

Naïveté require one to trade the reality of the world shared with everyone else for that reality contained within yourself, trusting that this inner world, imperfect as it is, will have a commonality that might speak to similar inner worlds among some of those who view it.

And that brings us to another favorite Matisse quote, below. The link to the universe he mentions is very much the same thing that links one’s inner world to that of another. At least that’s how I see it. This seems like a good spot to end this. Have a great day

We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.

― Henri Matisse

I have some things to get to this morning, so I am replaying a post from several years back. I’m adding a song that has to do with keeping that naïveté. It’s I Don’t Want to Grow Up from Tom Waits. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Seems like folks turn into thingsThat they’d never wantThe only thing to live forIs today…I’m gonna put a hole in my TV setI don’t wanna grow upOpen up the medicine chestAnd I don’t wanna grow upI don’t wanna have to shout it outI don’t want my hair to fall outI don’t wanna be filled with doubtI don’t wanna be a good boy scoutI don’t wanna have to learn to countI don’t wanna have the biggest amountI don’t wanna grow up

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