June 21, 2014

The apprenticeship is over, let the real work begin

From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life.  I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention.  At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow.  If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature.  At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive.  May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.

- Hokusai, postscript to 100 Views of Mount Fuji


Blogger First Sea Lord said...

That seems a bit optimistic.

June 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM  

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