Out of the Ordinary Comes the Extraordinary, artists who inspire


I recently read several quotes when instantly I thought of my friends in the arts, whether their specialty is painting, sculpting, photography or writing.   I knew the meaning of the quotes all too well and wanted to share these mainly because I wonder how many artists can relate too.

Mitchell Albala author of “Landscape Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice Painting” (to be reviewed at a later date), had two quotes in a chapter called, Site Selection:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,” by Marcel Proust

“How I have walked . . . day after day, and all alone, to see if there was not something among the old things which was new,”   by Thomas Cole

No kidding, I’ve been there hundreds of times.  In my case it’s painting and sometimes it’s a long process as I begin to look for a subject to paint – no one can do it for me, I have to feel the subject.  Does that make sense to you?  But then when I see it, I know that “this is the one”.  Just like the quotes above, the more I’m patient and look with a new set of eyes, an image appears that wasn’t there all those hundreds of other times.

Our art is a soulful world and we create from within.  As Artists we interact with our surroundings, many times we feel what we see (or write).  That is the essence of what we do, bring the extraordinary to the ordinary – the soul of our work.

About 10 years ago at a conference I saw the most remarkable dvd featuring a legendary photographer and professional speaker, Dewitt Jones – I’ve never forgotten it.  Dewitt’s work is featured in the National Geographic magazine and countless other places.  It was the most motivating 11 minutes I had experienced and for two reasons:

  1. he was a great speaker with an even greater message (a good voice that’s full of animation)
  2. he loved his surroundings, this came through his photography – his message, “Celebrating What’s Right In the World,” by seeing the possibilities and being open to them.

I thought of Dewitt Jones while reading the previously mentioned quotes.  During a search on the Internet I found a you-tube of a portion of his dvd and wanted to share his message.  His dvd can be found on Amazon if you are interested in purchasing a copy.

To all photographers, artists and writers who have known the lonely process and sometimes struggle to find the next “great” subject, the clip below of Mr. Dewitt Jones would be well-worth your time ~ time to listen is 11 minutes  [xisbbp, copyright @ Star Thrower Distribution 2001]:

What meaning does this hold for you?

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Oil Pastelist
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13 Responses to Out of the Ordinary Comes the Extraordinary, artists who inspire

  1. Loved the video! Great inspiration for life and art!

  2. 11 minutes well spent!! I love this inspirational video, “celebrate what is right with the world” indeed! Thanks for sharing this Mary! Love the quotes as well :)

  3. exiledprospero says:

    The sight of Proust’s ‘petite madeleine’ had no effect upon his waking mind, and yet the taste of it invoked a whole world. Tasting something familiar was like seeing it with new eyes.

    • Mary says:

      Oh my, Proust must have felt her soul pass through his as he looked upon that familiar vision.

      Beautiful ExiledProspero ~

      • exiledprospero says:

        Mary, I took a precarious leap to elsewhere in ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ and may have confused the issue, so I offer this explanation in order to clarify: a ‘madeleine’ is a little cookie (like a sponge cake), being very popular in France. A little taste of this cake precipitates an involuntary memory in the narrator of In Search of Lost Time. Sorry for the awkward jump, but it’s the involuntary trajectory of my Byzantine mind!

        • Mary says:

          Oh, how funny – wow did I have an interesting interpretation or what!?! lol in a very hearty way – don’t apologize in the least. Have a wonderful evening, glad you provided the real twist to the french little cake.

        • Mary says:

          Oh, how funny – wow did I have an interesting interpretation or what!?! lol in a very hearty way – don’t apologize in the least. Have a wonderful evening, glad you provided the real twist to the french little cake.

  4. Ogee says:

    Mary, this was a little long – but well worth it! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Healthy A-Z says:

    Those are great quotes, and I can definitely see why you remembered Dewitt Jones’ presentation from 10 years ago. He is powerfully inspiring! A vision of “celebrating what’s right in the world” is something we can adopt. I love it!!

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