On a recent trip to France I discovered that da Vinci had moved to this house in the French countryside.
A life-size model of a tank built from Leonardo's sketches, on the museum grounds.
The house is a museum of his experimental designs for all sorts of things we take for granted today.
If only this might've worked...
Below are five perceptive quotes from DaVinci from an article listing twenty. Don’t think of them as sayings of a genius, but rather of a fully engaged person. See if you can accept that. I have written a few comments in addition to some of them for your consideration. As artists and as unique people we only differ from the myriad of other humans that are capable of understanding these thoughts by our artistically focused observations, just like Leo D, and enhanced by…experience.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Our brain uses a lot of its energy on vision alone. Our eyes can be easily overwhelmed by detail, causing fatigue. Less is more when one learns how to stimulate the observer using fewer confusing forms.
“Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.”
Most students misunderstand this idea. The object is not to conquer or get better than your teacher’s skills, as surely all we need do is find lesser skilled instructors. This wouldn’t help anyone reach higher. The idea is to develop your own abilities and make them your own, as you are your best critic and eventually, teacher.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
One cannot sit back and wait for opportunity. Things happen when people take action first.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
Fear of perfection can stifle the best of us. If we can’t do something perfectly, we hesitate. That hesitation can paralyze us. The way to jog that notion is to take action, no matter how small or awkward or fearful. To know our work we must apply our education.
“Although Nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason.”
This reminds me of what is critical to my process: Draw first; think next. Don’t wait for the idea. Build it.
This is the master bedroom of the house where da Vinci wrote and drew and died.