Inspired By History's Great Artists


I never want to reach satisfaction with my art. That may seem counterintuitive, but if I am ever able to find it then I will have succumbed to complacency. It can be a frustrating dichotomy between finishing a project and never quite feeling like it is truly complete. Regardless of what I'm working on, I always look back and see ways I could have made it better, created something even more beautiful. Going over the could be of art can be maddening at times, but I've learned to allow my imperfections to push me to better my craft.

In seeking to do so, I have found both solace and and insight by studying the great artists of the past. Art of all kinds has long been a great love for me. I suppose I have my parents to thank. I grew up listening to Handel, Beethoven, Mozart and many other of my Dad's favorite classical composers. They encouraged creative play and thinking. They helped me learn about the works and lives of the great artists. Early on, they saw a small hint of a gift in me and gave me the chance to explore it with art and music lessons. Because of them, my passionate teachers passed on their love of the arts. I owe so much to my parents, wild-haired art teacher, soft-spoken piano teacher, vivacious children's choir leader, vastly knowledgeable college professor, and so many others for showing me their passion and investing in my life. They've helped shape me into who I am and influenced my work in immeasurable ways. It's only been recently that I can look back and truly appreciate the things I learned. I hope I never find the end.

I've been going back over the artists I learned about as a child, and in college. I loved it then, but I have a much deeper love now. Digging back into the lives of the greats has opened my eyes to art in new ways. More than ever I understand that raw talent can only take you so far. Diligence, perseverance, intense study and dedication make great art that is lasting. In my few spare moments, usually taking care of my girl, I've been studying all my favorite composers, painters and even a few poets again. The inspiration I've found is incredible. I hope I never stop. Each image I create is part of my legacy! They will remain after I am gone, so what am I leaving behind? Everything I create with that kind of intensity is rocking me to the core. Call it my artistic renaissance, if you will. Here are a few quotes from the greats that have been permeating through my mind:

"It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous mast in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied." - Mozart

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance" - Aristotle

"A true work of art is but a shadow of divine perfection." - Michelangelo

"The job of the artist is always to depend the mystery." -Francis Bacon

"For, verily, great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you little know it, you will be able to love it only little or not at all." - Leonardo da Vinci

"In art, the hand can never execute anything hight than the heart can imagine." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." - Frederic Chopin

"Music is not the notes, but the silence between." - Mozart

"Art is never finished, only abandoned." - Leonardo da Vinci

"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets." - Beethoven

"Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it." Leonardo da Vinci

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent Van Gogh

"If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."  - Michelangelo

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." - Leonardo da Vinci

"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaking in the wind." - Johannes Brahms

I hope you all are as inspired by these snippets from the greats as well.