Van Gogh recently. This quote made me smile: "If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm— and that’s a lie… That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity. Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility."
A blank canvas staring at me with a sort of imbecility...which is completely eliminated when I am painting over something else. A mistake. So clearly there is nothing to lose by painting over an already ghastly painting, and the fear is gone.
But there are more reasons than conquering the imbecilic canvas to launch your paint at things with abandon. The book review began with this quote from Amanda Palmer: "Everyone in this room is going to be gone pretty quickly — and we will have either made something or not made something. The artists that inspire me are the ones that I look at and go, ‘Oh my god — you didn’t have to go there. It would’ve been safer not to — but, for whatever reason, you did.’ And every time death happens, I’m reminded that it’s stupid to be safe…"
In the wake of the passing of John McCain, a man who wasn't afraid of danger and who didn't mince words, Palmer's words should inspire us all to get out there and make something today. Something awfully bold and brazen. You don't have to go there, but you'll be glad you did.