I keep plowing through the Schneider book on Matisse. It is the best book on Matisse available today, but it's long, heavy, and somewhat repetitive. However, it's so unusual that I will keep on reading. Here's another excerpt: "Science can only move forward; art alone has the capacity to return to its beginnings. Through art, the primordial remains accessible to us. Art has a way of communicating that has not changed since the beginning (do we understand a Fayum portrait any less well than a portrait by Manet? has there been any progress from the former to the latter?), but this language has been drowned out by another language. The return to the sources of the sacred coincided with the reduction of painting to itself. Matisse recalled this fact at the end of his career: 'All art worthy of the name is religious. Be it a creation of lines and colors: if it is not religious, it does not exist. If it is not religious, it is only a matter of documentary art, anecdotal art, which is no longer art. Which has nothing to do with art.'"
Which words make me consider that many approach art as if it is science, always on some kind of progression, as if what you are doing today was done yesterday. So it's all been done already. Why bother making any more pictures? Because there's always something new to discover, something new that will feed your imagination, even if it's old.