The Laws of Nature

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Nature of Change

Change .... sometimes it brings us the hope of better things to come, and sometimes it strikes fear into our hearts. When it comes to creating art, if we stick with it long enough we can become bored with our approach and seek change. That's what happens to me every time I create a new series, like the latest one that I have posted in a slide show above.

But, change doesn't come easily. First, we are constrained by all that we've learned ... all those principles and elements that we're told make a great painting. Our thinking is bound-up by the need to strictly adhere to them. However, innovation occurs when we venture outside of those constraints. When that happens, we face the uncertainty of whether or not we've done the correct thing, especially because most people don't respond well to something "new."

And, if people do respond well to our innovations, have we really gone far enough? Are we still playing it safe?

The nature of change is one of excitement, fear, and uncertainty. We can avoid change in our artmaking and keep producing the same old thing our entire lives, or we can step out of the safety zone and public opinion be damned! I want to step out ... even further. I will, but must do it in baby steps.

By analogy, I just bought a 16' sea-going kayak and launched off my property in Maine into the open ocean about a week ago. I learned enough technique to happily paddle here and there to visit the various islands and have fun. Then, one day last week I unexpectadly capsized my kayak and got dumped into the frigid ocean. Although I could upright the kayak, I couldn't hoist myself back into it. So, I had to think of another solution ... I swam to shore (I'm a strong swimmer) and got back into my kayak there. This will forever change my approach to kayaking and force me to learn some new skills.

Maybe we need to capsize our boats (traditional artmaking methods) and find a new approach.

Change leads to innovation. Your thoughts?