Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Time for Contemplation


"There is no Art without contemplation"
Robert Henri

     In teaching  I love to use artist quotes about the creative process. They come from painters, philosophers, scientists, poets...etc..  I sometimes think I could come up with a few of my own. One might be..."A painting is like a good cup of tea, it needs
time to steep-in the mind, the heart and the psyche of the painter."
We live however in an age of instant gratification. Tea might take five minutes or so for flavors to blend and strengthen, where a painting might take days or weeks or longer.
    A question an artist is often asked is how long a painting took to complete. I find that in creating a painting it often becomes a two way communication where the painting might have as much to tell me as I think I want to express through it. It becomes a puzzle, a challenge, because of course the communication is not verbal. The communication might come in dreams, a walk by the lake, or chewing my brush while in front of the work in question. The answer could be as simple as a composition issue resolved to an insight that astounds me as it touches into the core of my being. This is why painting is not about the product but about the process. I believe Einstein said "Art evokes the mystery".
We understand and unravel that mystery in our own time, perhaps over a good cup of tea.

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