What Kokoschka Awakened in My Sleeping Soul

Art has a mission to perform. It should be a means of communication, with the same purpose as language.  I do not believe in “art for art’s sake” – a pretty package but empty inside! That is idle chatter. Instead, a painting should be a means of establishing contact with others.

    The artist has a responsibility to envision and embrace the whole world in a spirit of love — to see and rejoice in the grand unity of creation. Therefore, the artist paints for the spiritually starving; for an audience of the blind. A good painter should be able to paint anything — but a great painter is the servant of compulsions which are ordained by the very structure of the soul. He or she is not interested in policies but in values — this is our field of battle.

     I believe in the miracle of the great blinding moment of illumination when the human spirit — radiating light and laughter, joy and love — nourishes the intuition. When your spirit trembles with joy then art has found its true form and place, and the artist can play like a fountain without strife, without even trying.

     Art cannot be bound to a theology, theory, or system. It preaches nothing. It is a purifying factor. Its essence is joy and love, which unravels the tensions and relaxes the soul. The secret of art’s healing power is in the viewer and not the artist. The only measure is reaction!

     In a world of change, one constant is the human gift of extending the boundaries of the human spirit ever-wider. And, therein lay the vocation of the creative artist: to capture his insights into that human spirit and manifest them in his art.

     Current trends find some artists trying to saturate the world with their own anguish. This is thin fare for hungry viewers.  Somewhere at the heart of things, artists are still lazy of spirit. They have not become desperate enough or determined enough. By a force of will, the lock on the door must be broken and the door must be knocked down in order to become the poet, the artist — the one who dares!

     Man may travel around the world and colonize to the end of the earth – and yet never hear the singing of the universe.

      Through expressing compassion and joy, art creates a possibility for others to experience joy and happiness and this is a real service to mankind.

— Wayne Ensrud