How to find passion

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Dear Artist,

Some artists who might read this, especially the more highly evolved ones, are going to say, “I don’t need to find passion, I’ve already found it.” Fair enough. Here are a few ideas for those who may have misplaced it.

Dr. Susan Biali, 37, a medical doctor as encouraged by her parents, has written a book on passion and how she found her true calling. Right now she’s negotiating a TV program about the process. Susan says passion means getting at the very core of who you are and what you want to do. Since childhood she had longed to be a dancer. One morning she arrived home exhausted from a particularly stressful nightshift in the emergency ward. Desperate, she turned around, slammed the door, flew to Cuba and took up Flamenco.

Susan is now a professional dancer.

The word passion comes from the Latin “patior,” meaning to suffer or to endure. These days, losing its uncomfortable roots, passion is a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion toward a subject, idea, person or object. Here’s how to get it:

Revisit and repossess your core dreams and fantasies.

Consider your dreams to be private, unique and sacred.

Get help from and watch the actions of the already passionate.

Indulge, honour and live in your own imagination.

Don’t talk about it, do it.

See your passion manifested into action or production.

Edmund Burke, the great philosopher and definer of emotions and passions, wrote in 1780, “There’s a boundary to passions when we act from feelings; but none when we are under the influence of imagination.”

When you serve your passions, proficiency gradually takes over and becomes habitual. “Permission” becomes entrenched with even more focus and those giddy feelings of success. It’s like love — when you’re in it you hardly know where you are, but all is well.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “Figure out what you’re passionate about. If you’re not passionate about something, go find it. We do not need more unengaged boring people to inhabit this planet.” (Ben Heppner)

Esoterica: Reflection, quietude and self-containment build passion like a kettle coming to the boil. Heated, nothing is too much trouble. As excitement really bubbles up, your face becomes flushed and you have an increase in temperature. In a quiet studio, at the altar of your easel, the condition of your armpits is a good indicator. “Be still when you have nothing to say,” said D. H. Lawrence, “but when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”

 

Using jealousy to find passion
by Nancy Bea Miller, Philadelphia, PA, USA
 

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“Port and Peaches”
oil painting
by Nancy Bea Miller

Excess of passion is more my trouble. But I have discovered a thing or two about how to help others find their own submerged passion. One way to find out what you are passionate about is to pay close attention to your feelings of jealousy. Normally, I’d say that jealousy can be one of the most corrosive and destructive emotions there are. But it does serve one helpful purpose, and that is as a lightning illumination: an instinctive guide to show you something you feel you lack and that you really want. For those people who are not in conscious touch with their passions, understanding your feelings of jealousy is a simple way of finding out where those passions lie.



There is 1 comment for Using jealousy to find passion by Nancy Bea Miller

From: Anonymous — Jan 31, 2009

You know what? That is excellent advice. Being one who is not in touch with emotions and flying through life by the seat of my pants I can say I do know that uncomfortable twinge when I look at a painting. I will now pay more attention to that – much more. Thanks.

 

Just needing to create
by Joy Sawyer
 

Artistic passion! I find that I paint best when I can indulge the urge, stay up half the night and not care about how sleepy I shall be tomorrow! At some times in the past, I have made a good living from my art. And at times, I have let the “need to earn a living” part of it be more important than the “possessed feeling of just needing to create.” The only works I am ever pleased with are those that come from that deep and dark possession, the urge to paint. Strangely, or maybe not so, customers want the passionate and possessed paintings. They do not want the ones that I created when I needed to pay the rent. Not the ones that appeared trendy, but the wild weed that grew from the fertile soil of passion.



There is 1 comment for Just needing to create by Joy Sawyer

From: Geary — Feb 13, 2009

I completely agree! I find that if I just sort of “clock in” on a piece and say to myself…”i’ll just do a little bit on it tonight…” More often than not, I’ll soon actually hear the birds outside my window getting their early morning breakfast! I will stay up all night but it only feels like a hour or two. Time is VAPOR when you get into that kind of zone. = ) ~Gear

 

The Cuban problem
by Jan Canyon, Keytesville, MO, USA
 

I would find her story almost believable if she hadn’t “flown to Cuba” to study Flamenco. It is a Spanish dance! How did she accomplish flying to Cuba when travel to Cuba is nearly impossible? You need to go to Mexico or some other country and try to enter. It can be done that way but would still be dangerous! I would believe this more readily if she had flown to Spain!

(RG note) Thanks, Jan. Dr. Susan Biali is Canadian. Canada does not have an embargo on Cuba. People come and go as they see fit.



There are 8 comments for The Cuban problem by Jan Canyon

From: Brigitte Nowak — Jan 05, 2009

Thank you, Robert, for your comment. You might also have added that thousands of Canadians fly to Cuba for winter vacations annually (including my 90+ year old dad!) …”but would still be dangerous”???!!!??? I guess this “freedom” to choose one’s vacation destination is another difference between Canadians and Americans.

From: pdcrumbaker — Jan 06, 2009

Surely there might be some good things Canadians and Americans have in common, as well??

From: Brigitte Nowak — Jan 06, 2009

Fortunately, Canadians and Americans – and people from many other countries as well – share hopes and dreams and have many more things in common than we have differences; I think it is the outlooks and perspectives and policies of our respective governments where the greatest differences lie.

From: Karen Lynn — Jan 11, 2009

Fortunately, our government is changing very soon. Perhaps then we will once again find more common ground with the rest of the world. Until then, I hope you won’t judge all of us by the limitations of our government.

From: Anonymous — Feb 02, 2009

I don’t judge my view of America by the government (I am American-born but living in Europe) but by my experience of most of the people: far too happy to own guns, far too reluctant to learn about what lies outside America. Europe is much like Canada in that one can converse intelligently with its people about the rest of the world.

From: John Boeckeler — Mar 17, 2009

Well, I hope this doesn’t go too far from passion in art and turn into an anti-American and political blog.

From: Davidfromcali — Mar 17, 2009

The detractors of this article should research this story for 3 or 4 minutes before responding. That’s how long it took me to go to Susan Biali’s site and read the short biography. Susan Biali went to Cuba on a vacation and found she really loved salsa music and dancing. She returned to Vancouver, finished her residency, and got her general medical license. A couple of years later, after she had become a professional salsa dancer, she discovered flamenco while doing research for a dance competition with a Spanish theme. This sparked her passion for flamenco, leading her to focus on that alone.

Perhaps Robert should have been more clear on the fact that ‘slamming the door, flying to Cuba, and taking up Flamenco’ was a process of decisions, education, luck, and passion that spanned several years and a major career change. Nonetheless it is the uninformed critics among us that all too often do their best to discourage others from getting inspiration from success stories about difficult life changes. Ridicule is easier than appreciation and comprehension. I hope that Jan someday has a jolt of awareness that life needs to take a new direction as strong and clear as Susan’s.

From: Anonymous — Mar 29, 2009

Well said David from Cali.

 

Passion and play
by Ernst Lurker, East Hampton, NY, USA
 

010609_ernst-lurker-artwork

“Mobilus”
metal sculpture
by Ernst Lurker

I watched Susan Biali’s video on the Internet; she is truly an inspiration. Your timing for this pep talk was also perfect. At the beginning of a new year we all seem to be willing to turn a new leaf and are open to such ideas. An equally inspiring book was for me: Exuberance: the Passion for Life by Kay Redfield Jamison. In it, I found some great quotes primarily about play, which is my main interest (as you may know by now).

1. Nature rewards the enthusiastic and curious with excitement in the chase and the thrill of discovery, rewards the intellectually playful with the exuberant pleasures of play.

2. The combination of curiosity and joy so characteristic of scientific work calls to mind the galumphing quality of exuberant play: watching, chasing an idea first up one path and then down another, tussling with competitors, and flat-out exhilaration in the chase. Creative science and play are fun; they promise the unexpected.

3. Intellectual play, like the play of childhood, is a serious business.

Obviously, the book contains plenty of similar gems, I just picked a few about play.

 

Judging true passion
by Carole Pigott, Santa Fe, NM, USA
 

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“Early market Nice”
original painting
by Carole Pigott

I agree with this whole article save one thing. If this Doctor/Dancer is so passionate about dancing, why is she going the route of writer? Is that her new passion? Or is she passionate about being passionate? Is it really passion if you can jump from one creative project to another, write about it and find success not in the process of being passionate but in having a TV program? Is this really a good example of one that is passionate?

Personally, I would prefer as an example the artist that has jumped off the cliff, spent a lifetime doing something they are totally driven to do. Have no choice but to do it. They do it even if there is no publishing contract or TV show in the works. There are already great books written about being passionate by people who have walked the walk. My inspiration is The Art Spirit by Robert Henri.

(RG note) Thanks, Carole. I was unaware that one was allowed only one passion at a time.



There are 4 comments for Judging true passion by Carole Pigott

From: Ron Ruble — Jan 06, 2009
From: Gary Johnston — Jan 06, 2009

I, too, enjoy several passions. Music, the playing of it, the composition of it, the listening for pure joy. I paint watercolour and draw with pastel and charcoal. I write for 4 active blogs and I’m planning books and CD’s to be released in the future. For me life is creation. Creation and love. Immerse yourself in both and you will discover a life well-lived

From: Isa — Feb 06, 2009

If anyone is in love, really in love, you do a lot of things driven by this love. Sex, socks, souffles, make babies, get a job, write, sing, dance, keep the books. Passion is even a motivator to logical reasonable domesticity, even. Passion is peculiarly human. There are neurons that light up. The queer thing about passion is its individuality. Passion is queer.

From: Jeanne Jackson — Feb 10, 2009

As an artist I began 27 years ago working with stained glass, moved on to sculpture in clay for 10 years, wrote a couple of novels, I explored the textile medium by making the most artistic quilts I could create and now have launched into my latest endeavor, landscape oil painting. There is no control or choice in the matter. The muse does with me what it will. Hence the fires of passion continue to burn as long as I am willing to follow the will of that muse. And, no, it’s not always a joy ride.

 

Rediscovering your passion
by Ion Danu, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
 

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“Sophie”
original painting
by Ion Danu

I am one of those who have found and rediscovered passion. In my young years I was a practicing artist as I was in an art high school in the medieval town of Sibiu, Transylvania. Those were some of the best, most happy years of my life. When I immigrated with my family to Canada, my passion wasn’t but a diffuse glow in the dark. Later on, when I was in a very tight spot I naturally turned to my first love: drawing and painting. After all those years I’ve rediscovered painting, art and the passion is still there, with a vengeance! Now I’m a professional artist and art teacher.

 

 

 

Passion-impaired children
by Ginny Stiles, Leesburg, FL, USA
 

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“W859 Taylor Trail”
original painting by Ginny Stiles

Years ago I wrote an article for a teacher’s magazine about passion (or lack of it). It was not about painting or art but about a “passion for life.” I had been teaching kindergarten for years and years and I was seeing a strange and amazing trend as the years went by. The amazingly exuberant 5 and 6 year olds were becoming more and more blasé and unresponsive to learning. Young children were becoming “passion-impaired.” I was worried and amazed.

The young children were becoming so “over stimulated by TV and other media.” By the time they got to me the idea that a butterfly could emerge from a chrysalis was a yawn. Where’s the action? The idea that no two snowflakes are alike, which in previous years would create amazing artwork and huge leaps of imagination, appeared trivial and unworthy of any attention. Teachers were being asked to “entertain” with a frenetic pace in order not to “lose” the interest of students. What? What about a slow walk through the woods to find milkweed pods or look for animal footprints? I used the word “passion-impaired”. I still mourn the loss of that fresh approach to life in children who have been “planted” in front of TV sets for way too long.



There are 3 comments for Passion-impaired children by Ginny Stiles

From: Marie-Lee — Jan 06, 2009

I totally agree with you. I teach high school art to 16 year olds and I find that their apathy can be very disheartening. I explain, motivate, show, push them a little harder and some days I come home just plain empty, asking myself why I do it?

But once in a bleu moon, I see a glimmer of interest in some of their eyes and so I keep going. These rare moments feed me during the leaner times.

When I was younger, I thought I could change the world as I grow older I strive so that the world doesn’t change me.

From: Dorenda Crager Watson — Jan 07, 2009

I too am a teacher of many years and experienced the same thing with my students. One thing that has helped with my younger students is that I made a rule…when you come into the classroom, you touch the door and leave your “regular brain” at the door…then you go over to a table and pick up your “art brain” (which consists of many very funky hats,) and you put it on. This seems to put everyone in a pretty fun, relaxed mood, which I believe sparks imagination. I have also done this with my adult students, and have had great results! I think most great art involves a little “play.”

From: mesu — Jan 07, 2009

We had an uncle who was a teacher and principal at a local school who made the comment: “Oh the children are so eager and enthusiastic when they first get to go to school but we sure drive it out of them in a hurry”

 

Dual passions
by Ann Noel Krider, Lake Placid, NY, USA
 

I recently inherited my father’s piano and had it moved into my studio. After 35 years of not playing, the piano is now the object of my passions. Discovering the music by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi has been part of that inspiration. Now, whenever I enter my studio, it’s a draw between art and the piano. The piano has been the stronger force as of late. I guess I’m filling the space with passionate energy every time. I play so when I finally get around to creating my art it’s surrounded by the essence of my musical notes.



There are 2 comments for Dual passions by Ann Noel Krider

From: Linda Spence — Jan 05, 2009

Ann, you’ve expressed this so well. I, too, have returned to the piano keys after many years of abandon and have discovered how the act of painting and the act of playing the piano stimulate each other. When I’ve just finished creating a painting to my satisfaction, I sit down at the piano and for some strange reason, the music sounds wonderful and my fingers know just what to do! The same also happens when after playing the piano I go to my studio and feel “charged” into my painting. There must be a connection here!

From: e.a. Clausen — Jan 08, 2009

I have also returned to piano, art, and writing as passions for my soul. After being a psychologist for over 30 years, I would intermittently indulge in these creative enterprises, for the simple reason that they made me whole. I now, paint and write full-time and continue to play the piano sporadically — with unpredictable fits of passion. I am thoroughly engaged as I got over the hump of self doubt and self criticism. I am very thankful for the opportunity to create!

 

Passion speech
by Barney Davey, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
 

TV host and wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk gives a 90-minute keynote speech in 15 minutes here. Vaynerchuk doesn’t just hit the nail on the head in regards to living and working with passion, he literally drives it home with his own obvious passion. His poignant remarks transcend his audience and apply to anyone seeking to live and work with passion.

 

Penelope’s Odyssey
by Penny Dewar, Nakusp, BC, Canada
 

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The eighth of thirteen installments of Episode 7: ‘Chorus’
photography by Penny Dewar

Just over a decade ago I began to paint. I had painted before, in young years, but this time I began with determined focus. I thought painting was my passion, and I took up my paints, and my pens and crayons, and I drew through a mountain of sketchbooks and painted a disarray of surfaces and attended workshops, including a few given by you. I read every letter you wrote to the creative universe, and I considered your suggestions: go to your room and paint, let books be your teachers, don’t be a local artist. And I worked alone, and I studied books, and I found a good dealer — who sells your art — and my art began to sell…

And I lost everything. Something pricked the balloon and it all sagged out around me, tripped me up and held me down until one day, just over a year ago, I began to write about it all, take a few pictures, and Penelope’s Odyssey began. And I shared it with the world, and the world responded with support, and I found something.

This Odyssey has sustained me through a difficult year, kept me moving ahead with the characters and the action, and has become so much more than story; it has become my life. Even on those bad days that we all get (though it seems to me that I get too many) it takes me from despair into wonder. Every little thing I do, every emotion I feel — sadness, joy, makes no difference — is mirrored into story and transformed into a dizzy of unfamiliar confidence. And now, having just read what you sent out to the world today, I realize that this Odyssey of mine describes my secrets, that creating it is my passion.

And now, at the beginning of this promising new year, my new confidence has convinced me to do everything I can to cause this Odyssey passion to become my work, my career, my profession. But first I want to thank you.

Painting was not the passion I thought it was, though it was an important clue. I had to find myself in it, work my way through it, learn from inside it, then move on out. Painting taught me about style and composition and colour and design, and my love for it brought me the works and wisdom of painters, from now and the past. Two artists remain with me as constant mentors and teachers — Pierre Bonnard and you. The two of you give me what I did not know existed. Your art and your words grow my possibility. In particular, this wisdom and inspiration that you continue to take the time to share with us, is more precious than gold. It comes from your passion, and it feeds our passion. A million times I thank you.



There is 1 comment for Penelope’s Odyssey by Penny Dewar

From: Artist_of_Virtue — Feb 02, 2009

Your chronicle brought tears indescribable, I can’t begin to describe the feelings I have reading your chronicle.

 

 

World of Art Featured artist Bonnie Kramer, Delta, BC, Canada  

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Interlocking Reflections 2

acrylic painting 36 x 36 inches
Bonnie Kramer, Delta, BC, Canada

 

You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

That includes Karin Snoots who wrote, “My passion is our natural environment of the Delmarva Peninsula. The earth is our home and we need to take note of what we have. I hope in some way through my art I can help promote and protect our natural wonder and the place we now call home.”

And also Boni Hathaway of Auburn, NE, USA who wrote, “‘Paradise is to love many things with a passion.’ (Pablo Picasso)”

And also Mary Swenson who wrote, “It is very hard to believe that speaking/talking about a passion would steal that little bit of necessary energy from it but it most certainly does. Consequently that idea totally loses its steam and fizzles out.”

And also ‘Dr. E’ who wrote, “Robert, you got the Latin wrong on the word ‘passion.’ In Latin there are at least 10 words for passion, none of them patior. There is pati from the French derived from late Latin. But in Latin the kind of passion you are talking about as suffering is perturbatio, furoris, fermentum, ignis and many others.”
 

 

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for How to find passion

 

 

From: Gentlehawk James — Jan 02, 2009

I have heard that it has been said by a master that when we pass on and return to Spirit that we will be asked 2 questions: “Did you dance in your passion? Did you play in your Joy?” The purpose of this lifetime is to be able to answer “YES!”

From: Sandy Sandy — Jan 02, 2009

My feeling about passion for something is, that you either have it or you don’t. I’m passionately obsessed with my art. I admit it. It is something I have to do, just as I have to breathe, eat and sleep. The intensity with which I go about my work, I give to no other aspect of my life. I must go on painting because I wouldn’t be able to go on without it.

“I think only of my painting, and if I were to drop it, I think I’d go crazy.” ~ Claude Monet

“A day without painting, or at least thinking of something to paint, is a day without breathing.” ~ Luz Maria Perez

“I do not pursue art. It pursues me. It dogs me throughout my day and never rests. It is the beast I must feed that is never content. I did not choose to be an artist, to create, to express what is in my head. It chose me and I am its slave.” ~ Toni Ciserella

From: Comments moderator — Jan 02, 2009
From: Joyce Ackley — Jan 02, 2009
From: Suzette Fram — Jan 02, 2009

Being passionate about something, is something you FEEL. It attracts you, fascinates you, intrigues you, makes you want to jump in and immerse yourself in it.

To find your passion, I would say you need to look for what excites you, what makes you happy. If you’re having trouble doing that, remember when you were a child, what made you excited and happy then? Once you have found it, you then need to try to incorporate it into your life in a way that makes sense. One cannot buy groceries with ‘core dreams and fantasies that are uniques and sacred and live in your imagination’.

The one good bit of advice here ‘Don’t talk about it, do it’, is one I wholeheartedly agree with however. It’s not enough to think about it, talk about it, read about it, plan how to do it, etc. You actually have to, at some point, actually do it.

From: Rene Wojcik — Jan 03, 2009

If you enjoy doing something you probably are passionate about it. Whether I am painting, playing golf, writing, working with wood or doing a host of other things I am very happy and passionate.

From: Nancy O’Toole — Jan 03, 2009

I have just sent this letter on to all my friends & painting students… This particular letter I really identify with! I can’t tell you how much “passion” has changed my life!

Painting (one of my passions) has opened up a whole new world for me and given me a life that I never imagined…all because I love what I do and am passionate about it!

I have painted and met wonderful people, made lifelong friends, travelled & been inspired, done things that in a million years I would never have done or known about…if I hadn’t found that “PASSION”!

Don’t wait for it to happen…make it happen! Forget the gloomy, economic situation, the Global warming(Warming-this winter in Canada?), The Gloom & Doom etc…. Get out there…and paint, dance, write, photograph, travel & see the world, play a musical instrument, sing… or whatever it is that you have always wanted to do!. Just awaken that passion within you and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish and what a wonderful life you will find for yourself! Your life will be changed forever, and you will wonder why you haven’t sought this passion before. It will open up a whole new world to you!

Here’s a great New years resolution …Resolve to find your passion if you haven’t already! Get the juices flowing and “LIVE” your passion!

My wish for all of you this New Years is a Wonderful 2009 full of “PASSION”!

From: Rick Rotante — Jan 05, 2009

Passion comes in stages and rises and falls over time. If you’re lucky you find something you love to do above all other things is when passion begins to takes over. As you delve into this endeavor your passion increases or decreases as your ability develops. Only when you immerse yourself and find a ‘voice’ does you passion play a larger role. Even then it will ebb and flow while simmering constantly.

I have found that passion needs to be tempered over time or else you burn out. It’s the same with feeling joy all the time without letup. After awhile the joy becomes less and a bit numb unless we can balance it with some other emotion. Passion is not a constant, if it were, there would eventually be little passion over time, in my opinion.

Passion has degrees in the long run as it should be. It needs to be re-energized again and again. I have passion about my work but when I’m ‘in the zone’, my passion is increased and drives my forward and will subside when the moment passes and the work is done. This is true with every emotion in life. We are at our peak when we experience all the emotions and let the passion propel us.

From: MJ Cunningham — Jan 05, 2009

I haven’t been subscribing very long but want you to know how I look forward to seeing your name pop up on my computer screen. I am a practicing artist with studio, etc. but also have a large family…5 kids, 10 grandchildren, 7 and under, etc. with whom I share my passion. There are those periods, like the holidays, when family kind of takes over for awhile and it is during those times that I grab onto your articles to pull me back to center. Just wanted to say thank you and wish you a beautiful new year!

From: Marylyn Ohlmann — Jan 05, 2009

Thank You for all your insight. At the moment, I really don’t care if my letter is posted or not. What is important is…how to regain “the passion.” Since we have returned to our native Nebraska, it has been a struggle due mainly to health issues of my own and caretaking of my almost 90 year old husband. When we moved away 11 years ago I was 61, elated to live near a Community college where art classes were available. Walking the halls I almost pinched myself to believe it was all happening. there is really no way to describe all the feeling pouring through me…the learning, the meeting of so many talented young people (and old) to whom painting and drawing was “old hat.” They had been doing this since grade school. Me…I was thrown in and loved it.

After a few years, my health was worse, back surgeries took place. My husband started falling, resulting in broken bones. We moved back here where things continued to deteriorate. Even joining the local Art Club didn’t last. His health has worsened. I am his main caretaker with help from a daughter, as she can. All passion seems to have flown. The everyday affairs of life seem to take every ounce of strength leaving the mind blank. There has to be some way back. There has to be more to what is left of life. Keep up the good work.

From: Jane Schlosberg — Jan 05, 2009

I am 64, and, although my husband still needs me and feeds me, 64 still feels a lot more passion-less than 46 (or 26!) felt. I know why. My passion, in art-making, always centered around new discoveries. I’m not talking about new techniques. I’m talking about new insight–new SIGHT. I reached a point where that no longer happened. New media, new subject matter: these changes didn’t bring the kind of augmentation of my understanding of the visual world that I sought. Painting is still fun, sometimes, but not epiphanous. So, why do it? If others reach the same limits, I suggest that you turn your life in new directions. This is different from losing impetus just because the “learning curve” has flattened. This is about flatlining! It takes time to discern the difference between the two. Keep working. Try to be patient and at the same time, look for paths up the cliffs that bound your plateau. But, if there are no more cliffs for you, your “plateau” is actually your “peak”. Accept this (and excuse my mixed metaphors). If you don’t, your art will be BORING.

From: Kamal Bhandari — Jan 05, 2009

Thank you very much for your much informatic and very encouraging email. I had just subscribed to your newsletter and I consider myself lucky to have done it.

The best thing is that although I have been painting for last five years, it seems I have fallen in love with drawing and painting. I am passionate about it. I feel as if it is dragging me towards itself and I am a helpless spectator to it.

Your mail was encouraging and added fuel to the fire. I hope to receive more encouraging words and advices from you in future.

Thanking you.

From: Connie Geerts — Jan 05, 2009
From: bob — Jan 05, 2009

Marylyn Ohlmann,

One of the last of the great masters, Lucian Freud, used to have his mother sit for him every single afternoon and he made numerous drawings of her over the years. Perhaps you can make it a daily task to draw your husband?

From: jk — Jan 05, 2009

Seems most of us, including myself, would benefit from techniques/ideas/suggestions regarding ways to re-light the passion we long for. So true, it does vary from situation to situation but comments and newsletter like this particular clickback is a wonderful wonderful tool to help us re-gain our passion.

From: Rick Rotante — Jan 05, 2009

Marylyn – Every once in a while a letter like yours comes along and makes one stop and realize how lucky some of us are to be able to do the things we love. Your situation may seem hopeless but I feel you need to find your passion for life before you can find it in painting and drawing. I don’t presume to know your exact circumstances and only offer meager appreciation for what you’re going through. Art can lift you up I know that for a fact. I’ve said this more than once that art saved my life and brought me to a place nothing else could.

If you had passion for art once you can get it again. I don’t have answers or quick fixes but your letter makes clear the misery of your present situation. You can work through the pain by exploring it. Find a way to express it and by so doing you will conquer it and help alleviate some of the pain.

The best art reflects the artists’ world. Paint what you know and are experiencing. Put your feelings down with images. Even if you do a small piece late at night or whenever you find a moment. Start small with pencil sketches. Draw your feelings about yourself. You can do it. I believe in you.

From: Julie F Oliver — Jan 05, 2009

Reading Marylyn’s letter made me feel deeply sad and helpless and then up pops Bob’s and then Rick’s letter of support and caring. I do hope that Marylyn is inspired by the compassion and suggestions from these two fine artists. I thank them.

From: Charlotte — Jan 06, 2009

Dear Marylyn, Lots of us here define beauty as joy, but beauty can also be sadness. As artists, we as always asked to define art….as if, we really know? Beauty is always changing just as the seasons in nature and in life. You may become my inspiration.

From: b Luke — Jan 06, 2009

After I read what you wrote about passion, I realized with gratitude that when I started calligraphy three years ago, I found something I could be passionate about and I am still passionate about it, I try to do a little every day and I am so grateful for that.

From: Georgianne Fastaia — Jan 06, 2009

Indulge, honour and live in your own imagination. — I have become accustomed to people referring to me as delusional, as if that were a bad thing.

Don’t talk about it, do it. — I realize that most people just talk about it…so that they are surprised that my excited flurry of ideas actually bears fruit.

Reflection, quietude and self-containment build passion like a kettle coming to the boil. Heated, nothing is too much trouble. As excitement really bubbles up, your face becomes flushed and you have an increase in temperature. In a quiet studio, at the altar of your easel, the condition of your armpits is a good indicator. — I go to the studio after my daughter goes to bed, working from 8pm until 2am….well I truthfully I have to drag myself home by 2am because I really could paint until dawn.

Nonetheless, resigned, I bow to the “need” for sleep, shuffling home buzzing with excitement, peel off my drenched, sweaty overalls and try to rest… See your passion manifested into action or production — I guess at the end of the day it is inspiration and perspiration that is needed.

From: Susan — Jan 07, 2009

Examine foreplay, a simple human phenomenon linked to basic creative instincts. You will find parallels galore that pertain to the emergence of artistic passion. We are built that way.

From: Marilena — Jan 08, 2009

Marylyn, it is late in the night…your letter made me feel so close to you…what would I do myself in your place…paint something that you loved to…tear an Archie’s paper in 4″x4″ little squares … keep them handy…draw or paint 5,10 min at a time… little abstracts or just objects around you…could be a repeat image, a sunrise, a horizon… without thinking…it is important to let your feelings paint…is like a journal…make them your moments of peace and relaxation…I am sure that you need them more that anything else…to balance the suffering and to give you strength…God bless you.

I will pray for you as for a dear friend.

From: Eileen — Jan 10, 2009

I am trying to find my passion. When I read about something, I get all excited about it but that fades so quickly. I jump from one thing to another. I’m sure it’s out there; I just haven’t found it yet.

From: Diane Leonard — Feb 24, 2009
From: Suzanne Kinstle Nocera — Mar 05, 2009

Passion is never consistently present in my studio but it’s always within me, I can feel it. It’s difficult to describe, yet it’s easy to understand once you’ve come to find a passion. It doesn’t mean, however, that it’s available on command. The intensity has levels of ebbs & tides. It flows in and out of our being. It changes and evolves in response to our surroundings and environment. Loss of passion can be a redirection to a new path.

 

 

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