Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #47

Your habits are always at war with your imagination.

Studio experience leads me to wonder if a large part of talent may be the ability to take one’s everyday habits, good and bad, and throw them out the window. “I did it my way” does not mean you did it the best way.

Hans Hofmann was inventive, hyperactive and productive. These characteristics often led him to kill a painting by overloading it. Late in life he learned to either leave a painting “unfinished” or paint large rectangular slabs over the excess. Both things went against his nature, and they were his best pictures.

Go with your gut instincts, but recognize when they are wrong.

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