Monday, October 6, 2014

Zen Perfection

I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about 6 years ago. It was one of those great books that changes how you think. All this time later and I still think about it, a lot.
One term that he uses a lot in the book is 'gumption trap'. I love it because it seems to be the answer for so many things.
From Wikipedia: "gumption trap is an event or mindset that can cause a person to lose enthusiasm and become discouraged from starting or continuing a project."

For me it came to mean anything that keeps you from thinking clearly and having the right attitude.
I have learned that with learning so many new pieces of technology I need to make sure I don't fall into any gumption traps along the way. Start at the beginning, know what your goal is and methodically follow the steps to get to that goal, most importantly don't let set backs throw you off track.

I hate to admit it, but I need to be reminded of this even in making art. When I get in a hurry to be done with something I am never ever happy with the result. However when I go slow and carefully observe my subject and my tools I am always satisfied.

Yes this is part of my bookshelf organized by color! Pretty right?


There are a lot of good and very long quotes from this book that can be found on GoodReads, these were just a few that I liked.

"Anxiety, the next gumption trap, is sort of the opposite of ego. You are so sure you'll do everything wrong you're afraid to do anything at all. Often this rather than laziness is a the real reason you find it hard to get started."

"You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? Make yourself perfect and just paint naturally."

"The more you look the more you see."

-Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

A little painting of mine & my favorite pitcher



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