Profound thoughts, strange ramblings, and the occasional soap box moment...
|Posted by Matt on March 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM||comments (27)|
Light and Airy
In light of keeping incredibly busy the past few weeks (see my last blog post entitled “Chaos”) with all sort of obligations and hurdles, there has not been a whole hell of a lot of time to get fully entrenched in a new piece... or my second weekly blog installment that you are reading right now. That said, the one artistic endeavor I was able to accomplish this week is a new, easy little piece entitled “Up and Away”
While looking at my latest effort and trying to decide what to write about with only one day left in the week, I figured why not do a little write up?
Every once in a while, I like to sit down to something easy. I like to come up with a loose concept that I think will be appealing, pull up the first reference photo I find just for a little bit of guidance, and just relax, pencil in hand. No in depth self exploration, no activism or political tones, and most likely an organic form that need not be all too faithful to its real life counterpart. Such is the case with “Up and Away.” It was a nice experience to shift gears and go with a subject that was fairly minimal and present it in a very simple way. Creating this piece took me to familiar territory in more ways than one; the watercolor and pencil on wood is a combination that has been quite comfortable for me for a long time now. On top of that, I am very much at peace being out in the fresh air and taking a moment to admire the small things in life (literally) that can often be overlooked. Allowing myself to indulge a little bit in things that come solidly together in my comfort zone, the process of making this piece was a freeing one. It was fun, quick, light, and airy.
One aspect I tend to think a lot about is the impact an artist's mood can have on his/her work at any given time. When looking at other artists' work, it can be fun to think about color choices, hardness of lines, intensity of shades, etc. The connections between those characteristics and the artist's intent or mindset at the time of creation can be very interesting. Often times, feelings of frustration, contentment, and everything in between can be spotted pretty easily. One reason I personally enjoy “Up and Away” is that it put me in a good place right from the get go. The clear blue sky... the little seeds moving along to set roots and become bigger and better... the little hint at a field starting to fill back in after a long winter... it all carries a nice feeling of optimism. By the time I was done with this one, I have to say, it rubbed off on me, and that's the whole idea. I hope whenever somebody takes a moment to look at this piece, they can have that same light and airy feeling- if even for a second.
|Posted by Matt on February 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM||comments (3)|
It seems that everyone and their grandmother nowadays has a blog... from food enthusiasts, to musicians, and car junkies to travelers. It also seems that artists are particularly supposed to maintain a weekly blog as well and I figured I'd might as well jump on board and give it a try...
As I contemplated (for way too long) what I should try to tackle for my first blog entry, a number of topics crossed my mind and will most definitely have their turns at being addressed. For this post however, the events of the last few days gave me a topic that was sitting right under my nose, wanting to be written about... chaos. Chaos, due to lack of a better word in this instance, breeds creativity. A bold statement to some- sure, but my personal life experience goes hand in hand with the old line of thinking that heartache fuels the creative mind. In other words, it's totally true.
All creative people have had “blocks” when sitting down to practice their trades. Writers, painters, graphic designers, and those in the performing arts have all experienced such blocks from time to time. What is it about chaos that can breathe life into a nameless empty space, a temporary void that may otherwise grow into what we know as a creative block? Or conversely, lapses in other forms of inspiration aside, what is it about chaos that can turbo boost an already fertile imagination?
Sometimes it is a form of direct therapy for one to illustrate, paint, or otherwise give his/her negative feelings a face- to pinpoint those feelings and expel them onto a canvas with brush strokes the same way a yoga enthusiast may expel such feelings with a series of several deep breaths. This process need not even necessarily make these feelings the focal point but rather, may simply be a response to whatever is bothering the artist. It is a purifying process, a process in which even the most realistic painter may only come away with a simple abstract arrangement of color... a process that, whether the artist is absolutely thrilled with the tangible result or not, ends happily with the creation of a new piece for a growing portfolio... and not for nothing, but that new piece will likely be one of the more “raw” and honest images on hand, and people will be able to see that.
Other times, I would argue, the creative process serves as a distraction when chaos is encroaching on a peaceful and content mind. When snow robs us of yet another eight hour shift, when life is not delivering on ambitious efforts, or when bad news comes to the family, perhaps the moment of creation is the artist's ticket to peace of mind... no matter how long or brief that moment may be. I for one have subscribed to this idea for a long time. I have had many experiences where, instead of focusing on the here and now, I allow myself to wander, wonder, and just plain draw something without the burden of too much forethought. As an aside, I have a friend who once told me that “expectation is the antithesis of creativity” and rarely will this quote apply more than in this instance. In moments like these, if the artist lets go of any expectations and is giving it their all, the creative process serves as a form of escapism from stresses weighing on the mind. When the dust settles, the outcome will likely be at least an inspiring start to a new piece worth completing at another time, if not a nice finish in one sitting.
I've touched on two ideas that lend themselves to believing that chaos breeds creativity and I am sure there are others. With chaos comes new life experiences which are incredibly valuable and can quietly (or boisterously!) inform new work for example. My goal with this writing however is not to explore every corner of the topic, or go on and on with doom and gloom, but to instead put it out there as a form of inspiration for other creative minds. When the winter blues have you down, if your heart is broken by another, or if you are just having a straight up shitty day, put that heartache to use. Put that icky vibe of your personal chaos straight on to the canvas. If that's not your idea of fun, use your art to put you in a brighter happier place. Either way, whether you are running from it or embracing it, make chaos work for you and crank out another masterpiece- you will feel a lot better for it.