Monday, October 12, 2009

Art Practice as a Form of Meditation

Japanese calligraphers and artists see their work as part of a life unifying force that includes their art practice, and meditation.

I know that I have a special God given talent, though I’m not a Picasso.  However, I have no talent for placing the product of that talent in the public eye.  I’m not good at being in the right place at the right time, and I don’t always play well with others.  I’m not good at strategy, though I find life to be a bit like a chess game.  I don’t mean to be difficult, but I am sometimes.  I’m not mysterious, and I don’t have a gimmick.  My personality isn’t scintillating, though I’ve been accused of approaching gallery owners with too much of it. Thus, I have found operating in the Art World to be difficult.  Though I almost had my 15 minutes of fame, I never have been quite able to pull the entire package together.  Sometimes I allow myself to dwell on that lack of charismatic magnetism and importance to my contemporaries in the art world, and then I become congested, depressed and blocked.  It has been frustrating to say the least, and I must be vigilant in order to prevent playing the part of the victim.

Never the less, on a good day - when the color flows smoothly, I solve drawing problems efficiently, and the connections between brain, arm fingers and the various tools are strong and sound – the Art World, indeed the entire world goes away, and I am suspended in time and space.  In short, working becomes like praying.  I believe my best pastels though thoroughly couched in realism convey that sense of peace and almost other-worldliness.  The montages on the other hand are so tied up in the issues of this life and world that they do not speak of any prayer.  Never the less, I do meditate while creating them, whether I want to or not, and hours can be lost in peaceful manipulation of color shape and form in that other space that my computer provides.  So, my work in the studio is special.  It provides the locus for simultaneously shedding the concerns of this world and for rebirth.  No, not only special, but hallowed because it is a gift from God.

Watch out for future entries on the topic “The Spiritual in Art Practice.”

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