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Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Books, Inspiration & Thoughts | 10 comments

THE ART SPIRIT. A Singular Book by Robert Henri.

THE ART SPIRIT. A Singular Book by Robert Henri.

© Elsa Mora. Ink on paper.

↑Portrait from Wikipedia

"There is the heart and the mind, the Puritan idea is that the mind must be master. I think that the heart should be master and the mind should be the tool and servant of the heart. As it is, we give too much attention to laws and not enough to principles. The man who wants to produce art must have the emotional side first, and this must be reinforced by the practical." - Robert Henry.

THE ART SPIRIT.  page 119


THE ART SPIRIT is a jewel of a book. It contains the essentials beliefs and theories of Robert Henri, the great teacher and American artist. I was lucky to receive it as gift from my husband last year. 


Robert Henri died in 1929. In Forbes Watson's words: "He was an inspired teacher with an extraordinary gift for verbal communication. Not only so but he ardently believed in the close relationship of Art to life. He believed that Art is a matter in which not only professionals and students, but everyone is vitally concerned." 


I think that reflecting about the importance of the heart-mind relationship is a great way to begin a new year. Let's keep Robert Henri's advice in mind. Let's work on turning our mind into a powerful tool to support our heart. 


  1. Oh yes! let us look at the heart and mind and how they work together! I just heard of new research that has created excellent therapies for patients at Duke University Hospital as well as folks who haven’t landed up in the hospital yet. So interesting! It’s called HeartMath. I think it should be called HeartMind- but they didn’t ask me! Anyway there is so much research done by this organization that points to scientific evidence of the heart having more powerful emotional energies than our brain. Duh. Thanks Science though, really, I like having hard facts…

    Science + Art = Divine!
    Susan Wells recently posted..It’s darkMy Profile

    • Thanks Susan for this link! I just came back from reading the article. I am so grateful to hear about the HeartMath research. I want to keep learning about it. Here is a fascinating fact that I got from the article:

      “The heart produces by far the body’s most powerful rhythmic electromagnetic field, which can be detected several feet away by sensitive instruments. Research shows our heart’s field changes distinctly as we experience different emotions. It is registered in people’s brains around us and apparently is capable of affecting cells, water and DNA studied in vitro. Growing evidence also suggests energetic interactions involving the heart may underlie intuition and important aspects of human consciousness.”
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Be a Hunter.My Profile

  2. Being a behaviorist and a writer, I strongly believe that our heart is the source of both emotions and creativity, with a connection to the mind. Let the heart steer you in the right direction and the mind will follow. The old saying “listen to your heart”, is now scientifically proven to be a powerful skill! As for any artist this quote comes to mind, and can be applied to anyone who has a desire to be creative: “Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head.” ~ Finding Forrester Movie
    Kristina Hall recently posted..THANKSGIVING DAYMy Profile

    • Kristina, I love your comment and I agree with every word in it. This is my favorite line: “Let the heart steer you in the right direction and the mind will follow.” As a behaviorist, are you a therapist? I am just curious. I know different behaviorists that have worked with my son Diego over the years. I am eternally grateful for the things that I have learned from them.
      Elsa Mora recently posted..Be a Hunter.My Profile

      • Elsa,
        Thank you so much for your kind words. I absolutely ADORE and LOVE your art and web site!
        No, I’m not a therapist in the regular sense. I have mostly been working with environmental issues in the work place. Everything ranging from poor ergonomics, employee relations, team dynamics, employee development through self assessment, leadership seminars, to personal problems for the employees.
        I have loved every minute of it! I still do some consultation, as I also try to give some open space for my writing. I have a passion for both!
        I read your bio and understood that you have a son with autism, and I know how challenging that can be. I know first hand how important it is to treat the whole child, not just the different symptoms. The emotional well being of the sick child is as important! If you ever have any general psychology/behavioral question, or just want to brain storm over something, please feel to contact me at
        I won’t charge you! Since our son was sick I have volunteered by helping other parents to just be able to cope with the situation. I’m just someone they can talk with who have been in their shoes, even if every situation is different.
        I am so happy I found your site through Elizabeth Gilbert. Now it’s my turn to share it with my friends!
        Kristina Hall recently posted..THANKSGIVING DAYMy Profile

  3. so inspiring written and beautiful writing, thanks!

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