One of my favorite artist stories is when Matisse began Drawing with Scissors. At the beginning of World War II he was on the cusp of his seventies, and his body was deteriorating in such a way that he could no longer paint as he painted before. Matisse was known throughout his career for his bold paintings, with masterful confident lines that could express a woman in one swift stroke.
But in 1941, Europe was falling apart around him, his marriage of four decades had ended, and he was bedridden because of his illness. What was his reaction? He sat up in a wheelchair and started to cut up colored paper. In the darkest period of his life, he made his brightest, liveliest work.
Drawing with Scissors is such a potent metaphor for creating in life. When we dream up ideas, any possible reality can flit across our mental theater without much effort at all. Thoughts are beautiful, ethereal and comparatively painless. But in order to give it life and make it real on earth, you have to cut, you have to decide, and affirm life, even if it hurts.Read More