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Journal: Listening to Leonardo

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Journal: Listening to Leonardo

At the end of his life Leonard Da Vinci left more that 5000 pages of notes and drawings. He was more than a painter. He was also an inventor and engineer. And he kept notes on all of it. In those pages was a little known quote . 

“It will be useful too if he quit work often and take some relaxation; judgement will be clearer upon his return. “ 

I keep this note in my home studio as well as a daybed and my current lbook. There is no point puzzling over what to do next in your rug. The only right answer is to walk away. The times I have pushed for an answer and plodded and chosen colours have never led to really good work. I can look around my studio now and see the mistakes I made at such times. You have to let your mind settle as you choose colours and textures for your mat. Do not be in a rush for the right shade. It will not work.

Rest does not sound very exciting but I think it is devalued. Our culture praises productivity and busyness. Are children still told that the apple falling on Newton’s head when he was resting is how he discovered gravity. I hope so. 

We all need to be reminded, me especially, that rest and relaxation leads to discovery. There is so much pleasure in a little indulgence. A nap, a walk, an afternoon with a novel. And these things all feed your creativity too. So me, I try to listen to Leonardo. Though sometimes I fail, that quote has been on my wall for at least ten years and over and over again, I revisit it.

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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
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