The Beauty of Ordinary Objects

Excerpts from A Voice at the Borders of Silence by William Segal:

A Voice at the Borders of Silence Both the advantage and the privilege of an artist is that he is forced to look. To see. People rarely see the beauty and the greatness around them. They live their lives in half sleep.

…With sustained attention, one grasps relationships which usually are overlooked. So how to nurture an attention which penetrates into the heart of things?

…Instead of a headlong rush, which is fine for a while, one has to step back.

…Moments of stillness align one's forces. When man's energies are together in balance, more is possible than when they are random, dis-equilibrated. Heart and feeling are needed as well as the intellect. Concentration, attention is the key in any endeavor, whether building a brick wall, working with a computer program or painting a picture.

The artist is fortunate in that he can find and give meaning to the humblest encounter. No subject is too small, too insignificant, to receive his attention and care. In the sense that behind appearances there is another reality, the artist may be said to resemble God. To be true he must approach the subject with 'pure-seeing.' Always there is seduction of the mind-gravitation toward the unknown. With inside-seeing we awaken to the beauty and the potentiality of ordinary objects.

The emergence of light from an area on the canvas always intrigues. The painter cannot evoke this by technique and virtuosity alone. It does not work that way. It is the total absorption of the artist in the work that enables true luminosity to appear.

[Thanks Kit!]