The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

The Art Spirit – Robert Henri (1865-1929)

A serendipitous moment in a public library led me to discover one of the best art instructors I have ever had. While browsing through the art section I glanced at the bottom shelf where I saw a small blue-covered book entitled The Art Spirit. Those were the days when one could see the due dates of previous readers of each book. Checking the date due page I saw that this one had not been checked out for twenty years!

At that point, I had never heard of the artist and teacher Robert Henri but the book seemed promising. Since then it has become my favorite book and one that I can pick up, open to any page and be reminded of why art is so important in our lives. I have since seen Henri’s work in many large museums all over the world. One can recognize his portraits at a glance for they embody his ideal of “the art spirit.”

This is a book not only for the artist but for anyone who appreciates art and its value in our lives. More importantly, it is a book that encompasses the philosophy of living life to its fullest. I am always discovering words of encouragement, which continually help me to persevere in making art.

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.