This afternoon I was listening to the radio in the car to Eleanor Wachtel, arts journalist and host of Writers & Company, talk to international pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. He said many interesting things about music, creativity, life. When asked why he did both conducting and performing, he said “because I can.”
He also talked for a fair bit about that first moment of coming to a piece of music, the emotion and excitement. Then begins the more intellectual task of studying the music, understanding how it came to be. And then, in able to perform the music, coming again to feel that first impulse.
I thought about painting: that first impulse, what makes a painting exciting. How easy it is to lose that feeling, to lose the excitement, overwork the painting. Then again, the excitement of bringing it back to the feeling of that first impulse. I suppose it is similar in all the arts (and in many aspects of life, in relationships, in other kinds of work), but in painting, in visual arts, there is always the product that looks back, physically, at you. With what often seems like a mind of its own. Understanding that is the work–and pleasure–of the experience.