The Laws of Nature

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Art & Fear: Observations on the perils (and rewards) of artmaking
by Bayles & Orland

I've skipped ahead in chapter VIII because much of this chapter is redundant to previous conversations on this blog. What we haven't discussed is the rate and frequency that our artmaking changes. The authors refer to these changes as "conceptual jumps" whereby our viewpoint shifts and we begin to see the world in a different way.

For the artist, such lightning shifts are a central mechanism of change. They generate the purest form of metaphor: connections are made between unlike things, meanings from one enrich the meanings of the other, and the unlike things become inseparable.

For me, these shifts occur in a number of ways. Sometimes radical changes in my life alter my viewpoint and this is expressed in my art. Other times I use analytical skills to consciously find connections between things that I never thought about before. And, sometimes a thought suddenly occurs. Each time I begin a new series of paintings one of these shifts has occurred and new metaphors are born. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more that remains subconscious.

What's your experience?


Mark Sheeky said...

I'm too captivated by that iceberg picture to think...

... okay I'm back. I suppose I'm like you and changes to my goals and likes in art evolve with changes to my art philosophy. When it comes to actual ideas though, they just appear when needed, often between 11pm and midnight.

-Don said...

I really don't think in series. I just evolve into something new, usually based on experimentation and/or life experiences. I try not to subscribe to any particular art philosophy because I try to stay open to it all. The fun challenge I've assigned for myself is to evolve into new series, but continue to use masks as my underlying theme/medium.

I'm with Mark in that inspiration usually strikes way after dark - usually around midnight, or just before I pass out (hence a notepad on my nightstand).


Anonymous said...

I don't have a well defined answer on this question- it's a gut level response. Usually when I begin to feel deeply oppressed- it means my art must change. It may not change much or it might veer slightly and it might reunite with an older aspect- or it might mean a complete cutting off of some aspect. It's uncomfortable- and I'm having anxiety even as I type this- but I believe that my creative process does battle with my analytical process. When they work together- I can create art that I feel good about. Unfortunately, I've been analytical for so long- I often forget to trust my creative self- but I'm learning.
Inspiration comes at anytime- but often it is upon first waking that I have the solution to a problem or idea.

Unknown said...

Hi Mark - you're a night owl!! Or, do these ideas arrive while you're sleeping??

Hi Don - another night owl! I'm too old for that anymore :-)

Hi Pam - yes!! Another morning person :-) That's when I get my ideas as well.

hw (hallie) farber said...

My view of the world constantly changes, and I feel everything is connected. I jump often but not high.

Stan Kurth said...

Alas, most of my current work is refuse.

Unknown said...

Hi Hallie - you have an elegant approach to dealing with change.

Hi Stan - very funny!!