on umberto pasti’s garden or 25 new rules on surviving as an artist


The New York Times Style Magazine featured a nature article authored by horticulturist Umberto Pasti. It was an inspirational and pictorial piece stemming from Tangier’s countryside and it implored the gardener to be true to thine own self.  Well, not just geraniums and wisteria had been carefully cultivated because within the sage advice of a maturated green thumb were 25 mined nuggets and living gems for today’s struggling artist  I’ve reinterpreted and re-encapsulated them below.

Artist, 25 Ways to Survive Your Creative Life

1. Abandon yourself to your deepest desires.

2.  Recapture part of your art heritage.

3.  Begin with a light heart and open eyes.

4.  The work and path are hard.  Travel them both anyway.

5.  Try. Fail. Exhert. Lose. Win.  Repeat. Repeat again.

6.  Use all your senses to get to the secret place.

7.  Abandon yourself to art and indulge in it.

8.  Lose yourself through surrender and obedience.

9.  Quality, exposure, quantity, use, disposition, climate, constraints.  Explore them all.

10.  Pay careful attention to the voice of nature.

11.  Pay more attention to the spirit of it.

12.  Know your contemporaries and your masters. Excel in the knowledge and nuances of your medium.

13.  Art is alive.  You are, too. Both demand concentration and exercise.

14.  Keep your options open.

15.  There is no ugly.  Even ugly has it’s own beauty.

16.  Revisit what you abandoned.

17.  There is no coincidence.  There are no mistakes.

18.  Explore the microscopic details of a creative effort.  Know the work’s poverty and fertility.

19.  Do not begin until you have REALLY looked.

20.  Do the art honestly.  Do it for you.

21.  Time will amass a body of work.  Time will bring clarity of vision.  Time will make you more discerning.  Make friends with time.

22.  Art is a form of being, a condition.  The art is you and you are the art.

23.  Listen to your own visual voice AND the callings of all the others.

25.  Utilize ruthless bold experimentation and courage. Eliminate whatever robs the joy and reconcile yourself to the ultimate end of being an artist. But work until you reach that. Then work some more.

art & agriculture: shauna lee lange’s agritourism.  we’re exploring and expanding the intersections of art, agriculture, agritourism, and agrarian systems in creative placemaking.  How can we best be of service to you? 941/875.5190.


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