Stasis can be defined as a state of stability, balance or equilibrium during which no evolutionary growth is either noted or felt. In art forms like painting and literature it is referred to as a "block." In the sporting world this condition is described as a "slump." In either case... it simply means that the usual vigour and predictably high standards expected in terms of performance... is noticeably absent and is viewed as unacceptable. Such is the condition of human expectation. We falsely lead ourselves to believe everything in life can be measured in an linear upward curve... a new zenith always in sight.
Common sense should tell us that such an expectation is unrealistic and unachievable. The creative growth of anything is carried out in bursts... in huge jumps and gains. But this is the moment is when that universal law "that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction" takes effect. We tend to "plateau"... even off in performance... just as occurs in attempts at weight loss dieting regimens. There comes a natural time when such growth and development must grind to a too abrupt halt. Learning to accept the fact of its existence within and deal with it in a positive light... rather than becoming overly critical and self-deprecating should become the goal.
As an artist, think of the situation as an actual painting project. Each painting is composed of various necessary and predictable elements. When used carefully and in concert, we achieve harmony, colour, temperature and mood through the application of pigments of varied hue, chroma and thickness... hopefully with a variety brushwork. Within that painting... harmony... balance and equilibrium is created through a push n' pull process which weaves together these elements in a tapestry-like composition. Then consider what influential mentors never fail to employ in their own work... or to mention to their students. That cardinal rule goes like this:
"Always leaves spaces and places for the viewer to rest as they explore your painting surface. Those spaces are as important as any other of the above-mentioned ingredients for success"
In music... that halting... intentionally placed rest creates excitement. The preceding dazzlingly beautiful crescendo of most classical music... is drawn emphatically to a halt... either with an abrupt ending... or a correspondingly sweet decline into that glorious state of absolute silence... which in my own mind... is indeed.... golden!
As I visit various blog sites... even some whose works I greatly admire, I have become increasingly aware of individuals beating themselves up... or berating their work as "skippers"... "unfinished symphonies"... et al. Others whine and complain... some even give up entirely. To them, I would offer that the creative process in truth is a journey... not a destination which can be arrived at on any predictable schedule... or by magic overnight success. Basing one's success upon the flow of greenbacks in one's direction is a huge mistake and offers little more than discouragement in return... especially in today's tough economy.
If I have anything to offer to fellow artists, it would be this short list of principles that I have tried to embrace and live by:
- Paint what you love most.
- Always paint from within.
- Trust your own good heart, for it knows the way.
- Choose a dream to work towards... then live it.
- Risk failure. Failure is merely an opportunity to learn.
- Make room and time in your life for family and other interests outside of painting.
- Be open and eager to integrate ideas from these external sources into your work.
- Avoid those who are unduly critical and negative in spirit. Better to travel alone.
Make a joyful noise... celebrate... SMILE!... and be happy because you choose to be so!
I send out this message to my blogging Friends who have encouraged my journey. Know that my own recent "quiet" in my own life and blog posting is merely what I have just described. I am busy with necessary non-art tasks like yard work... family... creating the new card designs for the printer... taking regular walks alone and sharing time with Deb... watching the birds and our magnificently beautiful River in front of us every day. Does that sound negative... desperate or discouraging to you? It is not... because I choose to feel otherwise! By the way.... during the carrying out of all of these above ideas... I have two new projects already in the works. Here is the "start" for the first one. HA HA!!!
Good Painting to ALL!!!
"Light"... cannot exist... except that one has experienced and fully understands "Darkness."
"Let there be Light....!"