I had visited the new FreedmanArt Gallery on upper east side, experienced Jules Olitski’s Embracing Circles – his quote deeply resonated with me; HAD to share it!
“As we all know, inspiration, like love, can’t be induced. If we are fortunate, it will happen, falling upon us like a gift from the gods. If we are very fortunate, it will happen more than once. The only thing I could hope for was that I would be at work when the miracle came about; so I worked all the time. And then some seven or eight years ago I came upon this sentence by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do the thing and you will have the power.” I didn’t know, and still don’t, its exact meaning, but the words had for me a power in themselves, an incantatory power. It was as if, simply by saying the words and in that instant taking hold of the work, I had also taken hold of the power. Now here was a power I could induce. And what’s more, the experience was similar to that which I had called inspiration.”
… I am what I do. Behind another’s conscience I cannot hide.
Excerpted from: Jules Olitski, “The Courage of Conviction,” in Philip L. Berman, ed.. The Courage of Conviction (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1985).