painting: Untitled #9, 2003 / The Pace Gallery (212) 421-3292

photographer: Charles Rushton

painting: Gratitude, 2001 / The Pace Gallery (212) 421-3292

Agnes wrote about life and art in a book called Writings, which includes her poetry and thoughts. One poem from 1973 is as follows...

I can see humility
Delicate and white
It is satisfying
Just by itself...
And Trust
absolute trust
a gift
a precious gift
I would rather think of humility than
anything else.
Humility, the beautiful daughter
She cannot do either right or wrong
She does not do anything
All of her ways are empty
Infinitely light and delicate
She treads an even path.
Sweet, smiling, uninterrupted, free.

It has been a long time since an artist made me cry. Made me want to throw all my "ideas" and expectations of myself and my path out the window and just remember that when the inspiration comes and the slate is clear to put the ideas down and be ever content with your process of creation. It is no surprise Agnes studied and practiced Taoism. Her minimal lines, light and open fields of color and elegant use of space remind me of a smooth white sky over the ocean on a day you just sit there to clear your head. And, all the inspiration that comes from that day is serene and simple.

I love how Agnes says in the video above, "the best part is when the painting leaves the studio". I understand that statement. I always feel relief when someone buys one of my illustrations, an INK+WIT product and begins using my brand IDs for their business. Why, because it is set free and in use and I can move on to the next inspiration. When you are creative you can suffer a great deal at times. Creative people are critical of their marks, their process, their outcomes, their lack of finished work, their lack of ideas, being overwhelmed with too many ideas and it all ties in with internal passion making it even more challenging and possibly heartbreaking. That is why meditation, which Agnes used to do, is so important for creative people, all people. If our mind is clear we can see our idea. Agnes comments on so many artists today have too many ideas and then the inspiration never makes it to the final piece. It is clouded. We need a clear slate. We need to love what we do and be good at what we do.

Agnes said she has a clear mind and let go of all theory. I love her vision and sincerity. Thank you Agnes, you made me want to paint again. It has been a long time since I picked up a brush.