11/3/07

Hokusai Quote

"From the time I was six, I was in the habit of sketching things I saw around me, and around the age of fifty, I began to work in earnest, producing numerous designs. It was not until after my seventieth year, however, that I produced anything of significance. At the age of seventy-three, I began to grasp the underlying structure of birds and animals, insects and fish, and the way trees and plants grow. Thus, if I keep up my efforts, I will have an even better understanding when I am eighty, and by ninety will have penetrated to the heart of things. At one hundred, I may reach a level of divine understanding, and if I live a decade beyond that, everything I paint-every dot and line-will be alive. I ask the god of longevity to grant me a life long enough to prove this true." Hokusai, postscript to One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji [translated by Carol Morland].

2 comments:

lotusgreen said...

such a wonderful quote

Joan DaGradi said...

Thanks, Lotusgreen. Great to hear from you.

I do think that the god of Longevity pretty much answered his prayers. Every dot and line that he drew is alive!
I was saddened at the woodblock show [currently at the Art Institute Chicago], to realize that Hiroshige had such a short life. To produce so many beautiful images in such a short period...a tremendous loss, but grateful that he chose to create, at all.