I was very depressed about my art last week. I’m getting much, much better but I still don’t paint the way I would like to and I am very critical of my work. I had a couple of days where I just felt completely overwhelmed by life and by all struggles but especially the struggle to create bits of art. After a particularly bad day, I came home from the studio to find that my husband sent me this quote. It helped and so I’m posting it here so I’ll always have it at hand, and maybe it will help some of you as well.
“It seems that two qualities are necessary if a great artist is to remain creative to the end of a long life; he must on the one hand retain an abnormally keen awareness of life, he must never grow complacent, never be content with life, must always demand the impossible and when he cannot have it, must despair. The burden of the mystery must be with him day and night. He must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy. Many lesser poets have it only in their youth; some even of the greatest lose it in middle life…But more often the dynamic tensions are so powerful that they destroy the man before he reaches maturity.” – Humphry Trevelyan