Arts Everyday Living: Start the New Year Through an Artist’s Eyes–The Artist As Your Guide

Happy New Year!  How would you like to start 2023 in a new, creative way?

Every Wednesday and Saturday, we will be posting an installment of our book, Through an Artist’s Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively offering you a pathway to art and the vision of the artist. Enabling you to develop your own inner creativity and apply it to the personal cycle of everyday living!




The Artist As Your Guide, Part 4

Artists are still mortal.  Picasso and Raphael might have been the sons of painters but Georgia O’Keeffe was the daughter of a farmer while Renoir was the child of a tailor.  Artists do sometimes seem to be born under a sign of genius, like the aforementioned Picasso who was said to be drawing before he could barely walk and passed in one day an art school entrance exam that normally required a month.  But it is more common that the artist’s route to creativity comes later in life.  Who would have ever thought at the time that the law clerk working in a local courthouse in a dingy city of northern France would someday be the master of color and design, Matisse?  Or the young student cramming for his theological exam would be one of our most popular artists today, Vincent Van Gogh?

For art is not an easy profession—or utilizing a better term, mission.  It is the ultimate taskmaster—the old, weathered adage, 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration, is most likely true, verifiable by the thousands of artistic biographies available to us: the elderly Monet, up at four o’clock in the morning, striving to capture another impressionistic dawn; or Michelangelo consumed for nearly four years in his retelling of the creation of man on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Artists are basically alone.  Yes, they do have teachers and mentors during their careers to stimulate and guide them, but they are destined to actualize their vision solo in what can be described as a combination of struggle and fulfillment.  With little release perhaps, or closure, for their quest, in most cases, never ends except in death.  They seem to be able to overcome almost any obstacle—lack of money, familial opposition, political turmoil, war, and chronic illnesses ranging from arthritis to tuberculosis to blindness.  In many instances, creating during their final days and even then, resilient enough to realize, as Renoir reportedly said on his deathbed, “I am beginning to understand.”

No one, though, is asking you to become a Van Gogh, or Monet, or O’Keeffe, or the countless artist that have both graced and challenged humanity.  Rather think of them as your guides as you begin your journey to art and to creativity in your life.




Copyright 2010: Joan Hart, Museum One, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented including photocopying, recording and information storage and retrieval without permission from the publisher.

ISBN 9780615301884