By Rusty Harden
I tear up old books. It’s what I do to create collages. Before you call me a book “murderer,” I assure you that I’m very careful that they have no collector value. I may spend hours lost in reading pages looking for a phrase or thought that can be taken out of context and reassigned to a current project.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Essays, First Series,” was a gold-mine of profoundly perfect words. In a section about art—I read words that defined a purpose for creating artwork that has influenced my efforts—to this day.
A search on the internet will bring up the following Emerson quote:
It's a nice quote, but search returns often leave off the final nine words, “...and in its highest effect is to make new artists.” These words are my favorite part! Here is the quote in its entirety.
“Art should exhilarate, and throw down the walls of circumstance on every side, awakening in the beholder the same sense of universal relation and power which the work evinced in the artist, and in its highest effect is to make new artists.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wow, to create art so powerful that it would inspire someone—a new artist! I adore this portion of his quote. Now, I must confess, my memory pretty much condenses the quote to this... “art should exhilarate... and in its highest effort—make new artists. ” With this in my head and heart, it has been my mission to do both.