For an artist this is the only way. There is no help anywhere. He must listen to his own mind.
The way of the artist is an entirely different way. It is a way of surrender. He must surrender to his own mind.
When you look in your mind you find it covered with a lot of rubbishy thoughts. You have to penetrate these and hear what your mind is telling you to do. Such work is original work. All other work made from ideas is not inspired and it is not art work.
Art work is responded to with happy emotions. Work about ideas is responded to with other ideas. There is so much written about art that it is mistaken for an intellectual pursuit.
The way to discover the truth about this life is to discover yourself.You must discover the art work that you like and realize the response that you make to it. You must especially know the response that you make to your own work. It is in this way that you discover your direction and the truth about yourself. If you do not discover your response to your own work you miss the reward. You must look at the work and know how it makes you feel.
We make art work as something that we have to do not knowing how it will work out. When it is finished we have to see if it is effective. Even if we obey inspiration we cannot expect all the work to be successful. An artist is a person who can recognize failure.
You can’t think ‘My life is more important than the work‘ and get the work. You have to think the work is paramount in your life. An artist’s life is adventurous. One new thing after another. I have been talking directly to artists but it applies to all. Take advantage to the awareness of perfection in your mind. See perfection in every thing around you.
The way to discover the truth about this life is to discover yourself. Say to yourself: ‘What do I like and what do I want.’ Find out exactly what you want in life. Ask your mind for inspiration about everything.
You can see that you will have to have time to yourself to find out what appeals to your mind. While you go along with others you are not really living your life. To rebel against others is just as futile. You must find your own way.
– Agnes Martin, Beauty is the Mystery of Life, in Agnes Martin, ed. Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell