jana l bussanich


There are two questions to answer today. The first, only I can answer – ‘will I show up at the paper?’. The second is a mystery – what will happen if I do? and the uncertainty of that moment is sometimes enough to make a person decide to do the dishes, or the laundry, or any other predictable occupation to avoid being confronted with the possibility that just because one shows up, doesn’t mean the work will be there; neither does it mean the work will be any good!

Naming the problem, precisely. Yes, choosing the mundane predictable things in life over the unknown, mysterious places – it takes courage and perseverance; Robert Henri, author of The Art Spirit says it takes a strong will and  that the life of an artist is a solitary occupation.

“You have gone there to find yourself. What you have started, this thing of becoming an artist, a real one, almost every man fails at. Few have the courage or stamina to go through the parts one has to go through alone in more ways than one”[pg.220]. ” “Be yourself today, don’t wait till tomorrow. He who is master of what he has today will be master of what he has tomorrow. Many things we know are true that we have never made a part of us. An artist is a master at the start, if he is ever going to be one. Masters are people who use what they have” [pg.241]. ” The artist should have a powerful will. He should be powerfully possessed by one idea. He should be intoxicated with the idea of the thing he wants to express. If his will is not strong he will see all kinds of unessential things. A picture should be the expression of the will of the painter” [pg. 238].