Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The Fragile Seeds of Art

West Coast Study,
original plein air painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

My last post was about the craft of art, by which I mean the "how", the process, or the series of defined steps that result in a finished product. It's a good thing and it's often a happy thing. It's easy to show, it's explainable, teachable, and learnable.

And then, there's the other side of creativity, its problem child, the art of art.

It has to do with the "why" and it's the driving force of creativity. It's what we have to do to move our crafty selves forward and create something new and different from the stuff we feel comfortable doing. It's moody, emotional, subconscious. It's not explainable, teachable, or learnable. It just somehow emerges from a deeply mysterious place.

It reminds me of cultivating a patch of the earth when you scatter the seeds and cover them with a fresh layer of soil. Things may germinate from it or they may not.

Before the plants show up, to anyone else, it's just a bed of dirt to be trampled, nothing to show, dirty, ugly, messy. But for the artist, it's everything.

We may be doing field studies for the first time or trying out a new approach to painting or forming a completely new way of expression which requires a brand new language. It's something challenging and often frustratingly slow in coming. Others will not understand it until you do so it's best to be teased out in solace.

Pachena Beach Study,
original plein air painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Having said all this, creativity is not a garden. The fragile seed of art is just a metaphor. The real thing can't be trampled by others because it's a part of us. It's there to be worked on our own sweet time.

We don't have to show it to anyone, we don't have to explain it or justify it. We just must keep gardening.

As I was finishing up writing this post, a piece of great news arrived in my mailbox. Sometimes that's how it works. While we are pondering a difficult section of our journey, a sign of appreciation arrives and suddenly it's time to celebrate!

My gratitude for this particular news goes to my FCA friends but also, I want to send out a huge thank you to all the art lovers out there for making this art world possible!