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Process vs Product in art.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Life is like a painting. Lots of highs and lows for drama and, all the parts in between being more than just filler. It all comes together to create the best picture we can deliver at the time. Like this week… I have big plans and am pretty sure that living them will bring about a few additional marvels. See, just as I was about to launch into how I am going to Hawaii for a week thanks to the intrepid Virginia Partain, my son’s dog Buddy throws up on the floor. Ain’t that life? So, with windex and paper towels in hand, I attend the immediate drama…

I think back to all the great adventures in my life and see how so many of the stories are about how I/we managed to prevail despite the difficulties. Mostly, because I was proud of how I overcame and moved forward. That is how we build our arsenal of tools for life. It’s also how we connect with each other - having survived. We respect that. Less so if we think someone has had things easy. It is a survival thing I think, surrounding ourselves with others we know will pull through when the need arises. Keeping our outlook positive because we know we can pull it together when we need to.

In painting, there are always moments that I feel a bit lost, maybe the direction changed a bit somewhere along the way and my initial plan feels off center. So, I have to regroup and see what needs to stay and what needs to go. Like the barn series I have been working on. The very last one just felt haunted, empty. Nothing I did could stop the giant red shell of a building from looming in the painting. Finally, I cut it in half and pushed it back and now… am ready to change its colour! It’s just paint. Most things can be fixed on a canvas.

I see the process of creating art as being for the growth and enlightenment of the artist. What do I need to change, to develop or to let go? The end result, the product of the creative process is for the growth and enlightenment of the public. What is being experienced in this, what marvel of humanity is being addressed and what did the artist call on within them to bring this into being? Usually this last aspect is the part that we connect to (or not). The process of the artist found in the end result. It’s in there somewhere and the viewer instinctively looks for it. It’s human nature to look for what we can relate to and what differs from our view and experience. We look to connect and if we cannot, we either respect the skill or we walk away. In this way we view art to enlarge our understanding of others and to continue to foster an instinctive connection, a spiritual connection to our past and to each other.

So, I have to go back and think about that barn and what I want the scene to say, besides that it has been abandoned! I’ll find something about it that would make me want to buy the farm and get it on canvas. Or… maybe it just needs a new coat of paint.