This post might seem "heady" at first reading... that's how my wife described it. "Too metaphysical for me!" she said. She's right in a sense. It certainly comes out of my head and thought... and it does address the process of painting from an unlikely perspective. But "I" most certainly am not under the influence of any illicit drug... and my mind's ... fairly lucid.
It is neither my wish to make anyone uncomfortable... nor to impress with my "ideas and knowledge in these posts. "I" merely offer an opportunity.. a forum where all can share and discuss differences in process and problem-solving and interest... so that all may gain from the "conversation" we agree to take part in.
"I" have always been drawn to seek out answers about how the process of creation works in others ... as well as in my own particular case. "I" have spent an entire teaching career watching how children create and actively taking part with them as they moved through the development of their own unique creative capacities. "I" fear that despite this lengthy interest and study of the subject... it still remains virtually a mystery to "Me". Nonetheless... "I" have made observations that perhaps others might find interesting... and useful in their own journeys.
The act of making a painting is in fact... a "conversation" and a "dialogue"... from beginning to end. From the moment we select a subject... whether in the outdoors, or in the studio... we "converse" with our subject. Silently... most of the time... we face each other... study... measure and reveal our essences and feelings to the other... in unheard voices.
As with a conversation between two individuals, the painting process... or "conversation" begins with a preliminary physical attraction to the subject... or "recognition" by the artist that seems to proceed to a kind of two way communication. The "conversation" usually lasts as long as each of the artist receives... is responsive and finds satisfaction in the event. When all avenues of interest and points for discussion have been aired to the satisfaction of the artist... the two way communication is abandoned... and the artist returns to his/her original plane of existence.
As with human discussions and conversations... there are those occasions when the artist will re-engage in that same "conversation"... or theme and continue to respond to the subject that continues to "speak" ... motivate and provide further "ideas"that result in entirely new extensions of the original "discussion".
This amicable parting is not necessarily the final outcome in dialogues and conversations between two people. Neither is it so with the conversationalists.... artist-subject relationship in the painting process. Often, one will try to overpower or control the "conversation"... or cause affront to the other's sensibilities... causing an impasse or "block" that often leads to the other withdrawing angrily out of frustration at the lack of "understanding".... or the "capacity" to finish. All of us... in our individual painting lives have experienced this very uncomfortable situation... when the "conversation" seems... for the lack of a better expression... "one-sided"... and our role in the "conversation" being diminished by the overpowering "voice" of the other.
To quote Ben Shahn , the famous American Social Realist painter and photographer:
"One must say that painting is both creative and responsive. It is an intimately communicative affair between the painter and his [her] painting, a conversation back and forth, the painting telling the painter even as it receives shape and form."
Shahn's comment supports my own belief that all artists... no matter their particular discipline are born with a compulsion to "speak"... "in conversation" with and to describe the world they live in. As well... they carry on an ongoing "dialogue" out of this strange and ongoing egocentric fascination and compulsion with the Self... using their preferred "voice" or medium/language.
This "communication" between the two cannot be viewed as a "hobby"... anymore than speaking with others could be interpreted such. It is purely out of a strongly driven inward need in artists to express themselves... to examine... and to "play" within boundaries of the worlds they find themselves in. One does not "speak"... except to be listened to... and "heard".
The last part of this conversation.. or dialogue requires another participant. The dialogue now becomes a "conversation" between the viewer... and the painting. Or should that read between the viewer and the artist? "I" wonder.... what do "You" think?
Get back to "Me"...
"I" would love to offer "You" an opportunity to join the "conversation".... about the contents of the post and the image... Mill Pond Residents, Ayr, Ontario... a first in a series of paintings "I" will be creating for the upcoming group show that "I' will be sharing with other gallery artists at Ayrspace.
The show opens Friday, August 6th, 6:00 to 8:00 pm... with a day long event for interested... and courageous gallery artists to paint in the small picturesque, rural village of Ayr... appropriately entitled: Plein Ayr... and that's a big YUP!... "I" will be there... joyfully... en plein Ayr!
Good Painting to All!