Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday Thoughts...

“I believe it was John Cage who once told me, ‘When you start working, everybody is in your studio—the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas—all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.’” 

Philip Guston

I love this way of thinking about the artistic and creative process; it seem to describe, with accuracy, the way it can sometimes be.

So often as we begin a project we are filled with things to do - ideas to test; techniques to apply; goals to achieve; definitive thoughts of what we are doing; trying to see how it all fits together and just how it might be.

And then gradually, the further we get into a piece, we shed these original purposes and concerns; they drift away, and we are left more with the essence of the thing. What it is meant to be, supposed to be and needs to be.

And isn't it just beautiful how at the end of the quote, he says, "Then if you're lucky, even you leave".

That describes for me the almost perfect state of creating and making; of having left your consciousness your ego, your thought processes, your awareness of other things and people, behind.

I liken it to "getting out of your own way". Bliss.

I remember this book as being probably the first time I really felt I got out of the way of a piece and just followed where it led me…


  1. What a lovely, true Thursday Thought. I especially like the way of ending, of 'getting out of your own way' as the idea takes flight and then is finished. Beautiful!

    1. Thanks Charlton- the quote seem to describe it well! And then the final bit is how I feel…it's wonderful when that happens.


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