Creative myopia

Bill Santelli and Bill Stephens, at Tom Insalaco's home

Bill Santelli and Bill Stephens, at Tom Insalaco’s home

The three of us visited Tom Insalaco in Canandaigua and had lunch. What I took away was Tom’s comment during lunch: “An artist has to be myopic.” Yes. It’s the hardest thing: to eliminate the distractions, focus on painting as the dominant activity in life, and narrow the creative range to exactly what you most want to do–but I think he really meant to say, don’t venture off track, in the work itself, often or for long. They were looking through the deep stack of marvelous portrait drawings Tom does every morning, working on them before breakfast. It’s his way of waking up.

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