Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cheap Turpentine

I've been reading a lot about discovery and the art of design. Here are two quotes that I particularly like:
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea." - Francis Bacon
This invites the question, "But isn't that the road to self-delusion?" Not necessarily. You may have reasons to believe there is something there which don't involve having actually seen land. You may have seen seagulls in the distance, or you may have analyzed the ocean currents and things that drift through them, or you may, like Christopher Columbus, have calculated the circumference of the earth relative to Marco Polo's reports on the size of Asia. That's where faith comes from, actually, before it becomes a perfect knowledge: evidence that you comprehend and believe, but imperfectly. You may even have no evidence that you can articulate, but curiosity or a feeling that there must be land out there closeby--this is more like hope than faith, but it still can lead to discoveries. (You just have to be prudent about pursuing such hopes full-time because they don't always pan out.)
When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine. - Pablo Picasso

This doesn't really need comment, does it? Sometimes theory is no substitute for practice, which yields experience and hones intuition. Plus I just think it's a funny quote.

"When people are married, instead of trying to get rid of each other, reflect that you have made your choice, and strive to honour and keep it." --Brigham Young

If you're so evil, eat this kitten!

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