"Making art has first of all to do with honesty. My first lesson was to see objectively, to erase all ‘meaning’ of the thing seen. Then only, could the real meaning of it be understood and felt."
"One of the things (Uncle Alex) found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of the apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, "If this isn't nice, what is?"
So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, "If this isn't nice, what is?"
"She felt panic. She had with some pain cleared this small space and time to think in and now thought seemed impossible. She remembered from what now seemed the astonishing free and spacious days of her education the phenomenon of the first day's work on a task. One had to peel one's mind from its run of preoccupations: coffee to buy, am I in love, the yellow dress needs cleaning, Tim is unhappy, what is wrong with Marcus, how shall I live my life? It took time before the task in hand seemed possible, and more still before it became imperative and obsessive. There had to be a time before thought, a woolgathering time when nothing happened, a time of yawning, of wandering eyes and feet, of reluctance to do what would finally become delightful and energetic."