Archive for December, 2011
Antonio Damasio: The quest to understand consciousness
Dan Dennett on our consciousness
Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight
VS Ramachandran on your mind
Last night I met with my peer group which is a part of the Artist’s Professional Toolbox course I’m taking from the Boston Art’s and Business Council of Greater Boston. In our peer group we have a structured part of our meeting, where we each get time to talk about where we are at and then get feedback.
When it was my turn I shared how I’ve been struggling with meeting goals I’ve set for completing a series of paintings I’ve been working on this fall. My first deadline was to have them done by Thanksgiving.
I missed that one.
Now I’ve set a new one for the end of the year and I’m not sure I’m going to make that one either. I’ve been getting time in the studio (although it does vary from week to week) but I’m frustrated with the fact that I’m most likely going to miss this second deadline.
That’s when someone asked me: “Are you more interested in the process or the end result?”
I had to stop and think.
In reality, it’s a bit of both. But lately I’ve been so focused on just trying to get to the finish line of my goals that I’m missing the process. I’ve been making decisions in my work just to move it forward rather than taking the time to be more conscious about my choices of composition and color. So I added something like, “I’ve been painting unconsciously.”
That’s when someone asked me: “Is that a bad thing?”
In some ways my work is about the unconscious part of our being, and how that unconsciousness mixes and flows in the ether to collectively create what we call our “life experience.” So perhaps I can give the paintings that have developed more unconsciously some validity – even if I think they are “bombs.” More importantly, I’m being reminded that it’s about the process and not the end result. Isn’t life about the journey, not the destination?
Yet I still struggle with the deadline dilemma. As a painter, we are conditioned to create as much product as we can. We always need to be churning out new work. With an exhibition deadline looming it often becomes about the end product rather than the process. Perhaps there really isn’t an answer to this….since all of life seems to be a cycle of ups and downs the focus between process and product may just have this same cycle too and it’s something I need to figure out how to ride.
Anyway, here’s the last “unconscious” painting I finished (quick shot)…
Currently Untitled, 16×16, acrylic on panel.
And here’s one that has sort of been running on auto pilot. I’m stuck on my color direction. I added this bright turquoise blue and now don’t know what to do. (It was part of an unconscious choice in a rush to finish the piece)…
Work in process, 30×30 inches, acrylic on panel.
So I’m going back to nature to see what can inspire me on it’s next step. I’ve got a composite of images below I hope to pull from and see what happens. It’s interesting to find that these unusual and saturated color combinations actually exist out there.