One of my favorite painters, Nicolai Fechin, Russian-born American Painter that lived from 1881-1955 had some very great concepts in a letter he wrote:
He says, “It is impossible to limit art by any definition or requirements. Art, like the whole of our life, submits to the eternal law of change. To argue about art is just as useless as to speak about love. Everything always boils down to personal experiences and tastes. In the evolution of art, life itself selects that which furthers its own purpose, disregarding the superfluous.
We can not live by the past. The present is so transient that it does not almost exist. As a matter of fact, we live by the future; or more accurately, we are unceasingly preparing ourselves toward it, trying to anticipate it.
The appearance of a truly new idea in art is always valuable, but only when it aims at fulfilling itself in an accomplished piece of work.
It is better, in some cases, for an artist to be an amateur than a professional. I am using the word “amateur” in its original meaning as “one who loves.” The true amateur not only sincerely loves art but fills with it most of his spiritual life; whereas the dilettante is a person using art as a mere pastime.
No one can teach you how to paint and how to draw, except you, yourself. You cannot learn how to paint by watching a well-trained master painter painting, until you , yourself, have learned how to paint with some understanding first. Only by the path of much practice and experience can mature results be reached.
All creation is personal and belongs to you alone. “
There is not much I can add to this. If you would like to read the full letter you can download it here. I take my hat off to Nicolai Fechin, a true creative.
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American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has teaches at the University of Cincinnati for over 9 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.