In 1989 and 1990, I visited artist Agnes Martin at her home and studio in Galisteo, New Mexico. Basically, I wanted to meet her, so I looked her up in the Santa Fe phonebook. When I called her, she invited me to come. My home and studio were on Upper Canyon Road in Santa Fe, so it was only about a half hour drive. I think I brought her a flower on that first visit. I was surprised that her home was very simple, modest, small, and mostly unadorned. There was a small Woody Gwyn painting in the kitchen.
I'm inspired to write a series of blog posts about those visits. I was just posting quotations about the creative process, along with quotes about some of the challenges of the creative life, to one of my Pinterest boards this morning. One of the quotations I reviewed talked about the self-doubt that artists can experience. The quotation, attributed to poet and write Sylvia Plath, says: "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." I took that as a good reminder to maintain one's self-confidence, that having self-esteem makes everything so much easier and more supported. That catalyzed the following memory to pop into my mind. Agnes told me on that first pilgrimage I made to her studio: "Even now, sometimes I tell myself, 'Agnes, whatever made you think you could be an artist?'" Wow. Even Agnes Martin had doubts about her talent. Every now and then I remember this, and it reminds me to keep at it and to trust myself and the value of my work.