I just came across this letter from painter Charles Philip Brooks who runs a
teaching studio in North Carolina. He focuses on the American Tonalist
and Impressionist schools of painting. Recently he sent a letter he'd
written for his student Laurie Gayle to Artist Robert Genn, who released
it on his blog today. It is so beautiful and inspiring I thought you might
like to read it too...

"Letter to the Student of Painting"

"Your day contains a great measure of freedom. Your responsibility as a
painter is here within the walls of the studio and in the setting of the
landscape. You have the opportunity to exercise genuine mastery at
every step, and it is in this spirit of grand possibility that I hope
you will reflect on the advice made plain here.

Do not grieve too long for the troubles of the outside world.
There is important work to be done here. We can best express our
care for all others by attending to our work well.

Allow yourself the peace of purpose and the knowledge that to make
another attempt with the brush is a noble thing. If you accept the
discipline of the truest principles of art, then yours is the reward of
an unbroken line of tradition.

Therefore, you may earnestly free your mind of all heartaches, sadness, and
transitory despairs. Creation is above these things.

Your vocation is as real and as true as any other. Those who denounce the
artist as idle manifest a deep ignorance of the nature of art. Have
faith that the civilized will somewhere, at some time, value your
well-wrought works. It is a miracle that the world keeps its havens for
art and yet it does. Know that to create art is to do a necessary piece
of work. The most noble pleasures and measureless joys result from such
endeavors. True art is undeniable and it is a gift for all humanity.

The threefold responsibility of the artist is: to creation, to individual
talent, and to humanity. For creation - the whole of nature - we must
cultivate prayerful awe. This is our source of work and our refuge as
well. We should seek harmony with nature. For the individual talent -
long hours and years of steady industry hope to find our abilities
fulfilled, our minds, hearts, and hands put to valuable service. In this
way, we maintain the sanctity of art. Lastly, we make to humanity a
willing gift of all we do. Our control over the material world lasts
only a lingering moment and it takes a generous soul to build the
ambition of a lifetime and then to hand it over in trust to the future.

Painting requires the bravery of solitude. Painting requires disciplined labor.
To be a painter is to search the world with a benevolent eye for every
subtle beauty that the infinite world offers.

Here is the opportunity to give your honest effort and to add in any small way to
the legacy of art. Cultivate patience in your heart and you will
improve. Learn to see well and your hand will become sure.

No pain or doubt can invade the honest soul engaged in the communion of
creation. We artists must love the world with our deepest selves and
forgive it at every turn.

To paint even a little passage with a measure of quality is to achieve a life's triumph.

Spend your days wisely with the best thoughts and works of those who have walked
the road before you. Search their paths, their timeless inspirations,
and the lineage of their genius. Learn your craft well and your talent
will mature into its full possibility. Keep an obedient heart before
nature. She is the master above all other masters. Nature is the
concrete manifestation of all that remains true and sublime. Let us
always be thankful for her abundance and hopeful that we might approach
her in our art. Nature will renew every generation of painters, ready to
illuminate the minds of those who practice the art with what is calm,
rational, beautiful, sublime, and eternal.

Such is the purity of your vocation. Treat every moment before the easel as a quick and
tender opportunity. Invest your most noble self. Give your most noble
self. To be a painter is to enjoy a precious state of life."

This was taken from "The Painter's Keys" blog - a very worthwhile blog to subscribe to.

All the best in finding those pure moments,
Richard

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Comment by Vladimir Gmyria on February 8, 2013 at 11:02

This thoughts are deep.

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