A few summers ago my life was full of changes and challenges. I was newly separated from my husband of 23 years and then my oldest son was graduating from college.

So, in early June, my two younger kids and I loaded up the truck and drove from Idaho to St. Louis, Missouri to watch their big brother graduate from college.
It was the first time I had ever driven that far without another adult driver in the car with me. At first I was a bit nervous, but it turned out to be a great experience. My kids and I love road trips. We enjoy seeing our country and watching the landscape change. We drove straight across Nebraska where every little town and the landscape looks the same. So you can imagine my surprise to see “The Robert Henri Museum” in the sleepy little town of Cozad, Nebraska!
At that time I had just read the inspirational book, “The Art Spirit,” by Henri. This little book is filled with gems of knowledge and teachings of a true artist.
Robert Henri 1873-1929, is one of America’s greatest artists and teachers. No other American painter attracted such a large group of followers as Robert Henri. He was an inspired teacher and artist who believed in a close relationship between Art and Life.
The book is a compiling of students’ notes and fragments of his teachings. Henri’s deep thoughts are still as insightful today as yesterday. It’s the perfect read whenever you are looking for a jolt wisdom or inspiration. Just open to any page and you will find just that! I have jotted down a few of his quotes for you to ponder.
Here are a few of my favorite passages from The Art Spirit:

  • “There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.”
  • “The effect of brilliancy is to be obtained principally from the oppositions of cool colors with warm colors, and the opposition of grave colors with bright colors. If all the colors are bright there is no brightness.”
  • “Whatever you feel or think your exact state at the exact moment of your brush touching the canvas is in some way registered in that stroke.”
  • “It is harder to see than it is to express. The whole value of art rests in the artist’s ability to see well into what is before him.”
  • “Art cannot be separated from life. It is the expression of the greatest need of which life is capable, and we value art not because of the skilled product, but because of its revelation of a life’s experience.”
  • “Paint what you feel. Paint what you see. Paint what is real to you.”
  • “We must realize that artists are not in competition with each other.”
  • “Be a warhorse for work and enjoy even the struggle against defeat.”
  • “Five minutes’ consideration of the model is more important than hours of haphazard work.”
  • “To paint is to know how to put nothing on canvas, and have it look like something when you stand back.”
  • “Brilliancy is going toward color, not toward white.”

Enjoy. ~Lori 🙂


You might like to read:
Life Imitates Art & Attitude
The Importance of Being an Artist in Today’s Modern World
Why Paint Abstract Art?
Overwhelmed in the Studio or Office? Check Your Work Habits
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