What art needs from us…

I’m reflecting on the pages I read from Art & Fear today and gleaning some thoughts on what art needs from us, the creatives.

The thought that art needs something from us assigns living qualities to our art. With the first stroke of the brush that we boldly lay down, we breathe the life of our imagination into a once inanimate sheet of paper. Every subsequent contribution forms and feeds this infant art. When it’s at its infancy, our art requires us to build it up, but at some point, the art starts to tell us, the artist, what it needs, and where it wants to go and our job is to listen. Making art is a fluid conversation of sorts between our self, the medium of our choice, and the art as it comes into being, not a monologue.

Art needs us to start with a broad concept and permit it the flexibility to become what it needs to become.

Art needs us to be vulnerable, to embrace mistakes and uncertainty and to let go of the need to control the process and the result.

Art needs us to consider our role in the work as the uncovering of the potential in our medium – whether it is ink, paint, clay, or fabric.

Excerpts from Art & Fear:

“In making art you need to give yourself room to respond authentically, both to your subject matter and to your materials. Art happens between you and some thing – a subject, an idea, a technique – and both you and that something need to be free to move.”

“What’s really needed [to make art] is nothing more than a broad sense of what you are looking for, some strategy for how to find it, and an overriding willingness to embrace mistakes and surprises along the way.”

” Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art.”

[Sharing two mini watercolors from a couple mornings ago – I didn’t know I was in the mood to paint florals, but that’s kinda what they make me think of. I used a variety of round foam brushes and they were so much fun to make.]


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