The Inner Artist

The personal journey of being an artist -
perspectives on creative expression

a section of
Talent Development Resources

 artist pages :
Diane Arbus
Georgia O'Keeffe
Sylvia Plath
Virginia Woolf

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This is a
publication of


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Site author
Douglas Eby
resume / email

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"There is something so unexpected when seeing a picture of a piece of your work. It's similar to my first gallery opening. A picture can't change just as a piece can no longer be altered once it is in public, untouchable on a pedestal, naked to the world.

"It seems that only then, does the artist actually get to see what they were doing all along.

"Enough of these experiences began to revolutionize the way I begin now.

"Now I spend my finest energy on imagination. I imagine a new piece until it is beaming in my heart and mind and I hold fast to that emotional conviction.

"I often say that it's about state of mind. What I mean is that once imagination has taken hold, it has to be trusted, it has to be given complete faith. To turn away from it and to engage my own petty volition is perilous.

"Once there is belief, you have to also believe that it is best left to carry itself out. The finer capabilities need no tending to."

Stephen C. Layne, sculptor, designer and figure modeling instructor.

Quotation provided by the artist.

Sculpture: "Water," outdoor suspended installation, Old City Philadelphia

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“Artists are inherently sensitive and emotional creatures. This is compounded when that artist is in childhood or adolescence. The very characteristics that are needed to create art can make hurtful issues even more difficult to deal with...

"As I mature, I am becoming more and more grateful for my earlier difficulties and challenges. They give me a clear vision and foundation to stand on in regard to who I am as a person and who I am as an artist.”

 Painter Amanda Dunbar - from interview

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Cai Guo-Qiang uses gunpowder in his drawings. “Why is it important,” he asks, “to make these violent explosions beautiful? Because the artist, like an alchemist, has the ability to transform certain energies, using poison against poison, using dirt and getting gold.”

quotes, photo and gunpowder drawing from Art:21 Art in the Twenty-First Century PBS documentary series

related book Cai Guo-Qiang

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"The things that go on in my head are far more interesting than what actually happens. My fantasies are still very, very strong. ...

"You live a third of your life when you dream. So you may as well live in your dreams -- the way you want to be living. The way you want to be. I love lying in darkness."

Nicole Kidman
> More on :
...dreamwork  - Also see Nicole Kidman profile

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It is paint's organic nature that helps me to understand life. For within the act of painting there is a history, a continuum of alchemy through the Ages that lives on in paint. And every time I paint, I touch it. But also within that history, I am given the opportunity of expression that helps me to create my own history.

Lori Agostino - from her site loriagostino.com -
> photo and quote courtesy of the artist

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We all suffer, even though we've got degrees, we teach, we write, we have literary magazines.

We've got all these piles of stuff and we're still saying, "I wonder if I'm okay?"

I think most artwork comes out of someplace you can just tap into, and make that so obvious. And then other people can look at it and say, "I know that place too, that craving."

Judy Pfaff - from works + conversations magazine interview (1998)
She is a sculptor and Professor of Art at Bard College
> photo from The MacArthur Fellows Program profile

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My paintings are reflections of my own inner mysteries.

I do not plan any painting, but begin with layers of textures and colors.

As I layer the colors, something is suggested to me from within and that is how it evolves.

It can be effected by emotions, weather, music or thoughts. I don't spend a lot of time figuring out the symbolism of the various collage elements - it is only days or often months/years later that I can see what some pieces mean to me.

So in that way they are all little mysteries, some more so than others. And of course, they all reflect my relationship to my steadiest of companions and muses - nature and animals...

Katherine Dunn
[quote and photo provided courtesy of the artist]
> her site Katherine Dunn/artist

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It seems the best work I do [as a writer] is when I am really allowing the unconscious to rule the page and then later I can go back and hack around and make sense of things, but the queen of the story is that part of my brain - and the stories wouldn't work, wouldn't move me, wouldn't have any power, unless they had a strong connection to my unconscious.

author Aimee Bender - who also teaches creative writing at USC
> from Pif Magazine interview
> image from her book Willful Creatures

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Artist, gain knowledge, but know that the greatest guru of all is the guru within.

Robert Genn - in his newsletter Twice-Weekly Letter -
see his site The Painter's Keys Community

> photo from his book The Painter's Keys

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"Thus, rather than becoming a crazed killer or vengeful victimizer of men, Niki de St. Phalle's fury -- some of which stemmed from having been sexually abused by her father -- fostered a fecund creativity, that served her well throughout her prolific career." 

From The Psychology of Creativity: redeeming our inner demons
an interview with Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D.

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"In making movies, time is so short -- because it is so expensive -- that we tend to neglect the place from which the best ideas come, namely that part of ourselves that dreams. 

"The unconscious is our best collaborator."

Director Mike Nichols

> more on :...depth psychology......> related topic :...dreamwork

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