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MINDSET: How Do I Connect More Closely To My Work?

NOTES FROM MY ART JOURNAL: Today, I've gone back to 2017 - August. A quote early that month - resonates with what I'm doing today.

" Think of your paintings as a series of events unfolding on the canvas overtime rather than a single aesthetic image." Gabriel Boray.

4/8/2017 : As I was drawing up my first image this morning and thinking about going deeper some thoughts occurred to me about this process.

  1. How do we connect with something? Is it just about a Feeling? And what causes me to have that feeling?

  2. I'm attempting to find a deeper connection to this plant/image.

  3. How this happens for me is a Discovery process utilizing light and dark and then the tools - camera, computer, Photoshop, iPad.

  4. I realize that these tools give me access to a revelation of beauty that my naked eye alone cannot perceive.

  5. And now as I draw my image, perception becomes more acute, I am noticing subtleties that were previously not within my field of perception.

  6. The importance of a particular angle of line, a subtle change of tone here and colour there.

I'm not a perfectionist far from it. However, what I am understanding through this process, is that there are two ways of perceiving.

  • I can make a quick emotional gestural response to something

  • Or I can go so much deeper. It may be that in doing so I narrow my range of focus or otherwise the amount of information is overwhelming.

It is the artists job to always cull -

  • What to put in?

  • What to leave out?

  • And what are my criteria for that?

This is what I need to understand. What do I respond to? What do I want to reveal?

If I understand my own criteria at the beginning of each work the work will be much more focused.

So not only do I need to understand this for each work, but if I'm doing a series I need an overarching criteria for the body of work as a whole.

  • What am I trying to say, show, reveal with this body of work?

  • What is the uniting Factor or factors?

  • Are there other criteria that some works will have? But maybe that's not a good idea.

A hard fact - I'm realizing, is that in a sense, many of my works to date lack depth. If I think about some of my series....

  • Refugees

  • Dark night of the Soul

  • Time waits for no man - on the death of my father

Yes these all told a story and the last two were very emotionally connected, but - I feel something's been missing in my work. I didn't know. There was a flow through the works of similar energy or perhaps expanded views of the original image.

- seems to raise more questions than answers!

- still questions are good - questions are expansion.

Another series I worked on in early 2018 which was going back to my childhood - my roots......

So that was my journal entry and I find it interesting because I've Just begun a new body of work and I am now looking at finding the connections between the previous bodies of work, as afore-mentioned and what I'm doing now. I think the difference between myself as an artist in 2017 and now, in 2021 is that over this period of time I have come to understand the difference between choosing the subject on a purely emotional basis and choosing a subject as an instrument of inquiry into the nature of that subject.

I now realize that these are two entirely different points of view and it is only in the writing of this article, that I am actually understanding the progress in my own development, which I might add, is pretty exciting!

Sometimes we do need to look back to understand where we are going as we continue forwards.

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