(because everyone should own original art)
As I said last week, when I need to get back to simply seeing and painting, it's self portraits or still lives. I came upon this marvelous quote by Matisse that says it more artfully than I.
"One gets into a state of creativity by conscious work. To prepare one's work is first to nourish one's feelings by studies which have a certain analogy with the picture, and it is through this that the choice of elements can be made. It is these studies which permit the painter to free his unconscious mind."
I love that "to free the unconscioius mind" because it is very true... and not just with art, but many things in life that are done repeatedly with great thought--how to shoot a basketball for example. The player stands holding his hands in precisely the correct position and bends his legs at precisely the right time and releases at the precise moment to achieve the correct arch, but after he does this often enough, during the game, it is his subconscious mind that takes over. He/she shoots the ball free of thinking, a beautiful moment.
Some paintings I barely remember the act of painting--so focused, clear, and direct the unconscious intentions are.