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the experiment

The drawing is beautiful – as I pictured it in my mind. But one never knows completely or does one?

Is that too humble of an approach?

Two points.

1. The work does look as I pictured it.

2. If I am interrupted when in thought about a work, I can and do reconstruct it from “back to front” meaning I trace the work in my mind to restructure the work. The only way to describe this more accurately is when Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her conversation with poet, Ruth Stone -who succinctly describes her method of creating a poem.

I have always firmly believed that Elizabeth Gilbert is fibbing a bit about her own creative process of slogging through. Being in touch with the creative process is the heart of the creative matter. One cannot address the universal if they are not connected to it in some way. Perhaps she has lost touch with that process – that is why she has had one “epic” work thus far. Losing touch with the process is easy to do at this time in which we live.

The creative process is mysterious and it also is grounded in particular realities based on respective disciplines – writing, painting, choreography, as examples – there is an awareness of form and there is also the knowledge of mystery that is unspoken. Mystery – not being some sloppy unknown – but instead a “channel” or what Gilbert refers to as the “pipeline”. Process is the combination of awareness and mystery. The pipeline is always there – we lose track of it.

Yes, there are voices. Agnes Martin talks about them. With recent writing about her work and life there is now more discussion on the relationship of the voices to the function of her mind. At the same time it is also addressed repeatedly that her production of work was remarkable and steady; no one could have the level of production that she did if she was that “entangled” by her mental illness. We are so “expert” at categorizing why people think and act as they do. Often, it is best not to ponder others.

Inner voices are real and can be quite loud and not so “inner”. They are determining factors in much of my work. That is the reason I work in complete silence. Obviously, one cannot hear what is happening inside of a space if the energy of sound being created outside is relentless. This is about streams of thought.

Within the contemplative studio practice is the process of creating my work; within that are the voices that speak to the direction of the work. Too much discussion, too much attention paid to the artist negatively affects the outcome of the work. The contemplative studio practice is one that ultimately generates – it does not absorb.

 

 


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