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There has been so much talk lately about minimalism, paring down, purging, simplifying. I too bought a book on decluttering, organizing. When first reading it, I felt enormous anxiety. Get rid of my precious memories: photos, books, clothes! No way. But then I did some purging, cleaned up my closet a bit. I must admit, I enjoy having a tidy closet and a tidy kitchen. I haven’t continued as I prefer to spend the time painting when I can. And otherwise I am with my puppy or reading or out and about. But the idea of being orderly sounds good.

Then I read an article that challenged the idea of simplicity and order. Chaos, the author believes, fosters creativity. When talking to a friend about this, he added, “chaos fosters creativity in the search for truth.” My studio is a mess. Always. No matter how often I clean it up. So I suppose that is good. Creativity is more important to me than tidiness.

I’ve always thought of art as the search for truth, absolute beauty. But then who is to judge what is true, beautiful. There are so many ways to approach art, so many possible conclusions. Of course, I like what feels most honest to me. So perhaps truth comes in the form of integrity. Certainly beauty does.


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