My journey back into art was a long road home.
Actually, it was the road not taken before. It was the road I was always seeking earlier, but never found. What got me back into art was painting the way I had always intended to paint, but never knew how. It wasn’t a road home: it was the road I just couldn’t follow the map to find.
See, if you want to know the truth, the truth, I always wanted to like art, but I didn’t actually like art. To me, art should be enjoyable. And art was never enjoyable to me.
It was calculated.
I happened to be good at replicating images I saw, and so I received praise. Always the people pleaser, I continued to paint and create, replica images of photographs, creating no new visual imagery but just repeating it in a new medium.
Then I went to school for art. (Because I wanted to study English, but all I heard was “But you’re so good at art!”) In school, replicating other visual imagery was not art, understandably so. More creativity was required.
My painting professor was a brilliant man, if a tad dull. Art, in his eyes, was a conceptual manner. Example in point: his favorite artist is Piet Mondrian, whose art is conceptual and logical but absolutely boring.
Piet Mondrian explored breaking down the essential roots of our essence. Visually, he broke down an image of a tree to it’s basic elements – to their molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels, only visually and not scientifically. If you’re not familiar with his work, google it. It’s terribly boring, if conceptually fascinating.
We were expected to paint conceptually. Scientifically dissect and explore a topic, to make sense not only spatially and visually, but chronologically, scientifically. For, what is the purpose of art if not to explore something to a depth it has not yet been explored?
Sound advice, but the problem is: beautiful art isn’t created conceptually. Beautiful art comes and arises out of chaos, as an idea forms itself visually or spatially or musically and creates itself through you, the essence of Being working it’s way through your hands, to have some sort of record of it’s form, to explain the unexplainable, to have you feel emotionally the depths of our Universe and the space it holds specifically without conceptualizing it, specifically without burdening the beauty with a tangle of words that could never quite describe the indescribable.
Words are a poor means of representation for the beauty and chaos that is art.
And, plus, have you ever read an artist statement? About 99% of the time, they are complete bullshit. Words pieced together to make the work sound both conceptual and academic while putting the viewer at a distance. Artist statements restrict an artist by forcing them to use something as trivial as words to describe the indescribable, the Inner Space, the collectiveness of the pause they felt in creation. Words can never do it justice.
So painting, intuitively and not conceptually, was finally my key back to the art world. That road I had been searching for all along. By painting intuitively, by stripping away my need to “make sense” or have a plan or be doing some scientific experiment on canvas – instead, now, I find beauty in the chaos. I let the Universe work it’s magic through me. I am the medium, Spirit is the artist.
Close your eyes, drop your words, find your Inner Space, and be free.
Create whatever the Universe intends you to create.
Live for the moment. Don’t second guess. Follow your intuition.
This is both how you create beautiful art, and a beautiful life.
Love to you this evening.