For more than forty years, we've been collecting quotes and poetry that support the practice of process art. We're happy to have this space to share some of our favorites with you.
I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves—like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. The point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.
If we take our direct experience as our most reliable guide, then we develop an orientation to ourselves that is based on listening internally rather than looking outside for answers. Our focus becomes sensing our experience in the moment, seeing where the energy is, and following it wherever it leads. It requires a self-trust that is quite extraordinary, and the courage to enter realms that are strange and new. We don't have the luxury of certainty based on explanation and logic, but we have instead the passion of exploration and the fulfillment of being fully challenged and utilized.
Unknowing, if one can be open and vulnerable, will take us down to the very deeps of knowing, not informing the mind but coursing through the whole body, artery and vein -- provided one can thrust aside what the world calls common sense, that popular lumpen wisdom that prevents the emerging of the numinous.
The blank paper before you holds mystery
longing for form.
Creation awaits the birth coming from you
and yet is beyond you.
Like a child it has its own trials, triumphs
and destiny to fulfill.
Give this painting being a chance!
Nurture it. Delight in its first movements,
Allow it to stumble and find its own way.
A basic understanding of the painting process work is that our inner experience is our connection to the sacred. Our direct experience is the only thing that's real, and therefore it's the access point to our highest potential. All the rest is supposition, interpretation, and assumption. And it's a path that's always before us. It never depends on outside authority, and it doesn't need any particular skill or attribute that's not already within us.
The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless "I" that is all we know as ourselves.