Quote from John F. Carlson in
"Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting"
"Power, whether physical or mental (or "artistic") comes from the exercising of the God-given faculties. It is difficult to go forward, but the backward slide comes with no effort. Or, to put it differently, when effort is relaxed we retrogress, whether we will or no. All this does not mean that by mere hard work, or by merely growing old, one can become anything desired. There are men who work and grub incessantly, work so hard they have not time to see! A deserving but pitiful state. The inspirational and impressional moments are shut out.
The true artist works rather in great gusts of effort, and in smaller gusts of apparent lassisitude. He is not lying about 'waiting for some inspiration.' He is in the travail of the dreamer entering into expression."