The Value of the Blank Canvas

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Principals in Training

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From the Brooklyn studio of artist Nathan Dilworth.

The title of this post isn’t meant to be symbolic – I literally mean the value of standing in front of a blank canvas, ready to be painted.  It is a wonderful feeling to sense the potential of the untouched space – the untrodden field of newly-fallen snow.

It is also a bit (quite?) scary to begin something from nothing.  Why?  Because the process that ensues from the first brushstroke (or the first sentence of a book, or…) can feel like walking over coals – or quicksand.  We can’t help but have a vision for what we want this blank space to look like, but we know from experience that what we envision in our heads is virtually never what results – it is simply a starting point.  Getting to the completed product takes work; it takes slogging through cruddy, muddled thinking and…

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