And I thought I was a late starter… [ 3 ] ←
In addition to his accomplishments as a painter (visit this website to see his paintings and learn more about him: https://www.artsy.net/artist/wassily-kandinsky), he was also a theorist with strong convictions about the role of art and the artist in society, and more painting-specific issues such as colour theories (he believed that certain colors have an affinity for certain shapes; see more here).
My friend and fellow composer John Oliver wrote a blog ("Artist's Statement") in which he cites Kandinsky's three "mystical necessities" that define artwork of lasting value: The Personal, The Ephemeral, and The Eternal. This topic—the role of the artist—fascinates me, and it's something I try to get my students to think about, so I will follow my own advice about not getting too hung-up on originality (see: Is Originality a Detriment in Art?, How Important is Originality in Art?, and Originality — Does it have Any Role in Art? ) and reproduce John's Kandinsky quote below:
1. Every artist, as creator, must express what is peculiar to oneself (element of personality).
2. Every artist as a child of his time, must express what is peculiar to one's own time (elements of style ...)
3. Every artist, as servant of art, must express what is peculiar to art in general (element of the pure and eternally artistic which pervades every individual, every people, every age, and which is to be seen in the works of every artist, of every nation, and of every period, and which, being the principal elements of art, knows neither time nor space).
I will also add another quote from the same booklet, entitled "On the Spiritual in Art" (the publication date of which I have seen listed as 1910, 1911, and 1912 at various places on the Internet). Kandinsky also wrote:
Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions. It follows that each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated.
Okay; lots to think about there, but this is getting long, so more later!