"The Art Spirit"

I just started reading "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri. By "just," I mean about 5 minutes ago. The opening paragraphs really struck me. It's going to be a great read; I can already tell.

"Art when really understood is the province of every human being.

It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing.

When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible [...]

"The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.

Cherish your emotions and never underestimate them.

We are not here to do what has already been done" (Henri 15-16).


The artist not only digs deep and discovers who he or she truly is, but embraces it, pulls it out of themselves, and raises it up high for everyone to see. The process is agonizing and glorious at once. Whatever darkness or light found within is put on display.

God, I love art.