most important thing to an artist is "life" rather than
attain a high level in art, a balanced and disciplined life is a major topic
besides studying art itself. It’s advisable to always maintain beginner’s
mind and enthusiasm, look for long-term goals (e.g., build up foundations rather
than look for quick result), and never abuse ourselves. Oftentimes an artist is
so enthusiastic for his work and gets himself overly abused. Later his mind or
body will revenge!
have a big sign in my studio “No
calligraphy today for a better tomorrow!”
I mentally, but not necessarily or actually, disguise myself not to practice for
one day to relax my mind and body. To attain a level of “practice without
practice” or “live with or without art” is seemingly paradox. Yet think
over its value if we can apply it.
to the “practice while not practicing” notion, pianist Josef
Hofmann mentioned in his
book about “mental unhitching.” He
suggested going out for walk after one or two hours of practice.
It is absolutely necessary in order that the newly acquired results of
our work may – unconsciously to ourselves – mature in our mind and get, as
it were, into our flesh, bones, and blood. That which we have newly learned must
become affixed to our entire organism, very much like the picture on a
photographic plate is developed and affixed by the silver bath. If we allow
Nature no time for this work, the result of our previous efforts will vanish and
we will have to begin all over again.
great poet Lu Yiu ( 陸游
told his son, “If
you want to learn poetry, the learning is outside poetry. ( 汝果欲學詩,
There is nothing more illuminating to an artist than experiencing and observing
one’s life. Many parables, anecdotes, and methods of Chinese calligraphy are
discovered from everyday life rather than from theories or textbooks first.
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