Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quiet Reflections

Richard Schmid writes wonderful books on painting. Today I was reading something he wrote about talent. Talent is something that comes up from time to time with friends and family. Often someone will look at my paintings and then say something about how they do not have any talent. I know that other painters must feel as I do about the subject. I think about all the hard work and little about some word called talent. Here is what Richard Schmid says:

Don't bother about whether or not you have it. Just assume that you do, and then forget about it. Talent is a word we use after someone has become accomplished. There is no way to detect it before the fact, or when someone is still grappling with the learning process. It is impossible to predict when or if mastery will click into place. Besides, the thing we label as talent is not a simgle ability. It is a complex mixture of motive, curiosity, receptivity, intelligence, sensitivity, good teaching, perseverance, timing, sheer luck, and countless other things. If any part of it is genetic, God-given, the result of astrological fiddle-faddle, fate, or destiney, that part is not the sole determining factor. All the other ingredients must be present in the right combination and no one knows the exact recipe. Therefore Dear Reader, don't waste time worrying if you are talented--and don't blame any failures on the lack of it--that is realy a cop-out.

I would love to hear back from you on the subject of talent, or this painting!


Cathleen Rehfeld said...

Hi Donna, wonderful paintings!
I tagged you!
The rules of being tagged are:
1. Link to person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules
3. List 6 or 7 unusual things about yourself or quirky but boring, unspectacular details about yourself
4. Tag 6 or 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and comment on their blogs to let them know they've been tagged

Someone tagged me so now I'm passing it along to you.

Celeste Bergin said...

I can not for the life of me believe anyone looks at any of your paintings and remarks that there is no talent..what are they....blind?? lol. Seriously, to me, all of your paintings show your exquisite talent..Your talent is in being able to convey the majesty of where you live..a tall order, indeed. You do it everytime!
I love the music you've added to your blog. I liked reading what Richard Schmid thinks on the subject of talent. What he wrote seems to also be encapsulated in Picasso's famous quote: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working".

Sophie Boswell said...

Hello Donna. Your paintings will heal many souls. The way you capture the light, which is what it's all about, is quite remarkable. Also your composition and focus are flawless.

Maybe you'd like to read my book which is about my journey through life as a plein air painter. You can find it on

Cheers, Sophie Boswell