Working when space, time, and energy is present is not an untested idea. W. Somerset Maugham is said to have limited himself to 4 hours a day of writing because he found going beyond 4 hours produced nothing of value. Making art is not altogether identical to writing, since making art requires much physical effort and consummate hand-eye coordination. In any case, as I mature and move out of my informative years, and into my years of self-expression, I am beginning to understand the limitation of one's daily creative energy. A student must acquire immense knowledge quickly, and the only way to do this is to slavishly practice. Acquisition of basic knowledge is no longer of the highest concern to me. It is time for me to be expressive, and not work in order "to practice." To quote Maugham: "Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul." This works for me. When making art it is important for me to stay in tune with my energy. I must stop making art when it becomes mere practice, rather than expression. This insight may seem trite to you, but it is very important to me, the dedicated worker who has lived a life of excessive work. Excess in work does not jive with expression. Expression requires one to be totally awake, and wakefulness is only available if one is in peak energy, as concentrated focus requires.
Yesterday I spent only two hours in the studio. In this limited time my focus was strong and I made a drawing of insightful expression.
If you have read my blog for a long time you know I am fond of quoting those who influence me. W. Somerset Maugham said, "The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit."
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