In the brush doing what it’s doing, it will stumble on what one couldn’t do by oneself. Any art is academic by definition if you know what the result is going to be before you start.
I found some of my notebooks of notes from art school (mostly from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1990-92; perhaps a few from prior part-time classes at Austin Community College, 1985-89); I thought I'd type 'em up for posterity.
First: Look for Phillip Garner's "Better Living Catalog" - a compilation of crazy inventions and oddities created by the author.
We saw the movie "P.S." (2004) last night, with the amazing and beautiful Laura Linney. She may be one of the most underrated actresses working today. She conveys such a huge amount of emotion, yet it’s never in your face; it’s always somewhat tightly contained within the physical space she inhabits, but you so get it! But neither Laura Linney’s performance nor the great little sex scenes are what I liked most about this movie.