Unlocking The Mystery

Agnes Lake Teahouse, acrylic, 20x24

At this time when all the paintings I have started need to be finished, and they all stare at me and beg not to be ruined, the responsibility can get a bit overwhelming and I can’t help resorting to some melancholic musings about the ultimate purpose of it all.

Almost every topic that touches upon art goes back to that nagging question – why do we create art? There are many, many theories and who care whys, but the question still keeps coming back to me. Somehow I keep thinking that unlocking that mystery is of utmost importance, and at the same time I know I never will unlock it.

One interesting lead is in the fact that there are two distinct types of art that I create. One is the art for me - for the joy of the process. I truly don’t care how the thing looks at the end as long as I enjoyed creating it and learned something along the way. The second type is art for my people, with which I desire to touch someone. It doesn't need to be pretty or perfect if I feel that the end result gives me, and thus someone else too, a kick in the heart.

This is obviously an attempt at some kind of communication – but why? How is that “special” communication different from the “normal” one? Why do artists nurture it and why is it important? How come many non-artists appreciate it, but some don’t? If there is a box of paints, a musical instrument, pen and paper, a chunk of clay, laying around, why do some reach for it and others don’t? And of those who reach out, why do some go to their room and never come out, while others inflict their doing onto public? I don’t buy the “for money” argument, because money can be made in larger quantities and with less effort and heartache, and it can buy a lifestyle.

The longer and deeper I live my art life, the more I feel that communication with art cuts through any other kind. No matter what else is going on in my life, a flash of color, a tune of music, a powerful image, any form of art  at all, has the ability to take me to a completely different level of feeling and thinking. And it just is so that some of us experience this and some don’t, or perhaps we all do, but at different times in life. 

Yes, to be an artist is a profession, but a very special one that sits on the base of something much, much bigger and grander than bread and butter.

I wish everyone many, many wonderful hours in conversation with art!