In here lies why I’m not Picasso (or Mattisse, or…)

matisse - gif


Making Picasso’s point visible: In 2010, MoMA curators used X-ray technology to reveal the many iterations behind Henri Matisse’s painting ‘Bathers by a River,’ on which the painter worked for eight years between 1909 and 1917.


Matisse does a drawing, then he recopies it. He recopies it five times, ten times, each time with cleaner lines. He is persuaded that the last one, the most spare, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and yet, usually it’s the first. When it comes to drawing, nothing is better than the first sketch.

~ Picasso

Despite being both a professional admirer and a personal friend of Matisse’s, he cites the painter’s notoriously methodical creative process as a betrayal of this notion that an artist should honor his or her initial creative intuition.

Read more at Brainpickings: Picasso on Work Ethic, How Creativity Works, and Why Intuitive Ideas Are More Important Than Methodical Technique


The spirit moves me every day

William Faulkner

“During his most fertile years, from the late 1920s through the early ’40s, Faulkner worked at an astonishing pace, often completing three thousand words a day and occasionally twice that amount. (He once wrote to his mother that he had managed ten thousand words in one day, working between 10: 00 A.M. and midnight— a personal record.) ‘I write when the spirit moves me,’ Faulkner said, ‘and the spirit moves me every day.'”

~ Mason Currey on William Faulkner’s work ethic


William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897 – 1962), was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.  Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932).

As a schoolchild, Faulkner had much success early on. He excelled in the first grade, skipped the second, and continued doing well through the third and fourth grades. However, beginning somewhere in the fourth and fifth grades of his schooling, Faulkner became a much more quiet and withdrawn child. He began to play hooky occasionally and became somewhat indifferent to his schoolwork, even though he began to study the history of Mississippi on his own time in the seventh grade. The decline of his performance in school continued and Faulkner wound up repeating the eleventh, and then final grade, and never graduating from high school. (Source: Wiki)


Image Credit: Popmatters.com.  Quote Source:  Mason Currey from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work via bakadesuyo.com.  Bio: Wiki

Hard to discern where his talent ends and his work ethic begins…

Andy Roddick is retiring this season after being “the face of men’s tennis in the U.S. for more than a decade.”  What wasn’t obvious to me until reading this article from the NY Times, was the depth of his character, his integrity and his drive.  With so many bad actors in professional sports, this story was inspiring.  Here’s a few excerpts:

“He’s a study in contradictions: a born entertainer who doesn’t like to leave home; a team player in an individual sport; a deep feeler who is quick to give you a piece of his mind or the shirt off his back; a lunch-pail prodigy.”

“He was precocious, yes, but his defining characteristic has been his persistence. Roddick never had the luxury of coasting, of taking his gifts for granted. How else but through grit and guts does a player with a balky backhand and a butcher’s touch at the net finish in the top 10 in the world for eight consecutive years?”

“Roddick’s serve is such a blur, people have a hard time discerning where his talent ends and his work ethic begins. He’s a classic overachiever who was cast as the suave leading man of American men’s tennis, a role that, true to his nature, he worked earnestly and endlessly to wholly inhabit.” [Read more…]

Output v Effort…

output v effort


Source: instagr.am via gene-how

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Potential is unrealized attainment – nothing more and nothing less…

I’m a long standing member of the Mike Myatt fan club.  Yet, I held off sharing this after trying to talk myself out of it.   Contrived…maybe.  Heard it before?  Certainly.  Many times.  Believe it?  Completely.  I thought some of us could use an extra kick this morning to finish off the week…so here it is.  I encourage you to click through on this post from Mike Myatt: “The Myth of Potential” to get the full essence of his message.  Here’s (more than) a few nuggets:


[Read more…]

Luck is hard work…

“…70% of American workers believe the key ingredient to being lucky in their careers is having a strong work ethic…

…Of 7,000 respondents in 15 countries…84% said they believed that luck – good or bad – plays some role in their professional lives.

…But they aren’t relying on kismet: participants consider luck to be something people create for themselves…

…Respondents said the most important factors in generating good fortune are solid communication skills, flexibility, strong work ethic, acting on opportunities and having a robust network, in that order…”

Source: Wall Street Journal, Luck is Hard Work


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