30 August 2010

State of the Art


In my experience, art of any kind takes emotional and mental commitment and connection. There's a bonding of thought and feeling that takes place inside that focus, that allows the practical action of creation and movement to be more than just a series of gestures - it becomes provocative, it suspends belief, it is accepted as more than just a superficial act and has meaning and connection for the audience.
As a dancer and performer most of my younger life, it was painfully obvious that if you didn't FEEL the performance, if it didn't have meaning for you, then it would be meaningless to the audience. On the other hand, if you were deep in the experience, and it was ultimately fulfilling to you, then the audience was rapt and as involved in the performance as you were.

I've never understood what other artists meant by having to be 'in the mood' to create. For me personally, mood was something for choosing music to listen to, to go for a walk, to be indoors or outdoors, to socialize or spend time alone. Art has always been an experience beyond mood for me; I can be in the worst mood ever and find something inspiring about the foulness and darkness of the experience that I can express with art. In any emotional state or mental process, there is something expressive to describe and relate through vision. Often as not, the biggest problem is that I have so many ideas and images in my head that I feel like I need a few clones so that I can get it all down on paper. I always FEEL ready to create.

The greatest stumbling block in the artistic process has been the interruptions. If you've ever studied, or been in championship training, where there's a process of mental and emotional organization required, you'll understand what I mean; there's a certain rhythm that is developed, that goes beyond momentum, and when that gets interrupted, it takes a while to re-establish that rhythm, sometimes days and weeks. You know you can focus, you know the method that works for you, you know what it is that you want to achieve.....but someone cut in while you were doing the Macarena, and now you have to remember which move you were up to.
The past month has been one of those months - changes in real world situations, and emergencies that had after-effects, things that slid past while I was dealing with other matters - and it's been a slow crawl back to my usual rhythm. And it's been a task to not get impatient and frustrated with myself because I'm not in that rhythm. Hours of sitting at the drawing board, only getting half the work done, and asking myself, "What is wrong with you?"
I always equate it with dancing - you know the moves, you know the beat, you know what it is you're meant to do, but if you've been sitting on your butt for six months, and you haven't been stretching and practicing, it's going to take a while to get back into the condition in order to pull off the performance. The commitment has to go somewhere deeper in order to get back to that state of the art.

24 August 2010

Don't Distract Me

Fish Forms

It's been one of those days where the hand and the brain aren't having coffee together....Lines would suddenly go off on an excursion of their own, forms were just enough outside proportion as to be silly, not surreal, and then there was that whole thing were it was damn cold and windy.
Not the most inspirational of creative days.

However.

When it's not working on the page, something else is on your mind, distracting focus and pulling the ultimate control out of your hand and sending it drifting off into the stratosphere....or Quebec...just for somewhere different.
It's not unusual to strike this when you live and breathe art every day. Whether it's because I'm feeling stale, or just the opposite, too many ideas fighting for realization, it's when I have to sit back for a second and pay attention to what I'm really thinking about. Because obviously, at that moment, it's not art.

When this happens, I normally stop, put the book aside, and sip on my coffee, watching the world go by for a little while. (and usually someone stops and says "Why aren't you drawing?" ) Kicking back and letting go of the attempt often allows whatever is distracting me to come to the surface, so that I can focus on it, deal with it, and then get back to work.
So, you may ask, what was distracting me? I had a song stuck in my head, that had absolutely nothing to do with what I was working on. It was the emotional equivalent of dining in a five star restaurant while wearing scuba gear. Whatever you do, don't think mm bop.....hehe.....

12 August 2010

Perspective - It's In Your Hands.

Organica Perceptiva by Zian Silverwolf
Perspective - the angle from which the subject is viewed.

It's about perception, and every perception is unique - it is the differences that create a bigger picture.

The generous spirit is just that -generous, abundant in its acceptance of more....There is no one path to enlightenment, or to the moral considerations of human life. There is no such thing as forced perfection in a finite being that is made of conscious thought and feeling; there is no cause to deny the human experience for a life lived monastically if you are not a monk.
Art is the combination of thought and emotion - the greater the range, the greater the creative evolution and experience. If I suddenly decided to limit myself of feeling, passion and emotion in only one direction, I would sacrifice my artistic journey, and my reason for living.
I find nothing liberating in the concept that philosophical agendas only have one direction - philosophy is the art of thinking, and by it's true nature, accepts the entire emotional range of the human experience; otherwise, there is nothing to be philosophical about.
In my personal experience, there is little to be gained from the conformity of thinking - when the individual becomes one of the crowd, they only mirror the agenda of the crowd. They do not invent, contribute or create from beyond the crowd. For an artist, that is death.
A friend of mine speaks of 'like-hearted people' in his philanthropic endeavours - I view that as a generous term for people who all walk their own paths to greater purpose; you don't have to limit who you are, just bring your gifts and abilities to common ground. The conformity of purpose.
I speak from one perspective alone - my own. My devotion and commitment to the works in my life is not the only life, but it is mine. What brings life and colour and adventure to my world is people devoted to their life - I am validated as a unique individual when surrounded by unique individuals.....Like-hearted people.