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May 09, 2005

the perfect painting

“You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It’s easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.”

Robert M. Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I don’t want to paint a perfect picture. I can think of nothing worse. However there is something in what he says. The last bit: “paint naturally” is definitely a good thing. Forced unnatural painting is no way to carry on. Picasso spent most of his life trying to paint naturally. He would say he was trying to forget all he’d learnt and paint again like a child.

It is my firm belief that it is the state of mind and the intent that make a good picture interesting. Acquired skills are useful to aid the process of painting, like tools help fix a motorbike, but skill alone is not enough.

Posted by john at May 9, 2005 07:41 AM

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