Fail upward

dale watson

I’m back from my wandering in New England and Canada, 1606 miles on two wheels with a duffel bag, back to the easel and the laptop, and I’m catching up on some DVR content after two weeks almost entirely devoid of TV viewing. I watched Kacey Musgraves open for Dale Watson, the “Antichrist of Country,” on Austin City Limits and in the quick interview following his performance he quoted John Lennon: “One’s originality comes from the inability to emulate your influences.” I loved that quote. It reminded me of how Van Gogh’s failure to be an Impressionist led him to become himself as a painter, as did Braque’s unfulfilled desire to be Cezanne. What seems like a limitation in technique or style can be exactly what lays the ground for authentic work, if you embrace it.

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