The Painting has a Life of its Own

Today is Jackson Pollock’s birthday. He would be 105 years old. There is no doubt that he broke new ground with his drip paintings when they were first introduced in the 1940’s right in’s backyard of eastern Long Island. He was quoted as saying that, “The painting has a life of its own.  I’m just helping it come through.”

This quote reminds me of a book I recently read by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic. She makes the argument that creativity comes and visits those people who are ready to express it.  It is your job as the artist, writer, businessman, scientist…etc. to be prepared because one day this Big Magic will just choose you as tool to let an idea out to the world.

Remember those interviews with Bob Dylan when he was asked how did he write those songs in the beginning of his career? His answer was that those songs wrote themselves. He was just a vehicle for their delivery.

So maybe Jackson Pollock was correct. The painting does have a life of its own. He happened to spend years perfecting his craft and then one day – Boom! – Big Magic hit him.

So your job as an artist is just to perfect your craft. Let God, The Spirit, Big Magic, whatever you want to call it pay you a visit one day for a groundbreaking creation!  If you are not ready this creative force will just visit someone else.

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