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A painting is finished when it looks at you.

Paul Klee, via Katie Turner
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Anything that animates us creatively in a positive way — be it the grand design of a great architectural wonder or the Big Bang of a child’s drawing — is a re-enactment of the original creation story. Whether we realise it or not, making art is a religious encounter as it is our attempts to grow beyond ourselves that energise the soul of the universe.

Nick Cave, Red Hand Files Issue #131

I’m not a huge fan of Nick’s music (although there are one or two songs I love), but I really look forward to these letters. Often a welcome respite from the noisy, thoughtless messages that seem to surround us these days.

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Talent is overrated. Skill is aquirable.

Seth Godin

Just as well because I started this art thing with zero talent! All I have are desire and perseverance.

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Do it again!

Not that I’ve read Orthodoxy yet (I think I might have started it on my Kindle), but I love this Chesterton quote, which Michele Morin reminded me of:

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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Some helpful guidance on drawing trees

When you tackle trees, don’t try to draw every leaf. Use broad pencil strokes to define areas of leaf rather than individual sprigs. Concentrate on getting the main shape of the tree correct, and the way the leaves clump together in dark masses.

Barrington Barber, The Ultimate Drawing Book