Blogcultivate the creative spirit
Is your path always straight?
The autumn season starts full of wonderful impressions. After my recent trip to Marrakesh I have been to another painting retreat in Mallorca with Nicholas Wilton. The last day of my stay I visited the Joan Miró Museum in Palma which has an impressive architecture. Instead of leading the visitor in rectangular ways through the building the visitor walks surprinsingly in diagonals which cross different floors.
After one week of immersion in painting that spacial situation reminded me of my painterly quest. When you devote yourself so intensely to an activity it happens that we experience the outside world as the mirror of the inside world. Reflecting my work I realised that I want to convey the sense of a multilayered space which pulls the viewer into the space. Not just using linear perspective as in representational landscape painting, but by overlayering different marks and shapes that cross each other. It sounds complicate, but I experienced it in real life in the museum.
Art leads us different ways because some places you can`t reach on regular routes. The straight ways lead to known places that are on google maps. Artistic activity is a way to reach new places that differ from the already known ones. That are the places I feel attracted to. Sometimes I wish I had a ready made map for my way, but the way to the unknown unfold in front of me while I am going. The painting is in the end kind of a map. Paintings are also places which we step in in order to make new experiences. My soul wants to experience amazement and thats where I am on my way to.
My Style is how I evolve
I just came back from Marrakesh where I attended a workshop with the american artist Nicholas Wilton who is since a while my mentor. During these concentrated and still so peaceful relaxed days I had some wonderful insights that I would like to share with you.
It`s incredible how long it can take for an insight to be engrained in every cell.
We all now Buddhas quote: There is no way to happiness but happiness is the way.
It´s all about the process. We have to love the process of becoming. Otherwise the gap between what we are and what we feel to be inside is unbearable wide. A gap that we sense will never close because our horizon steadily widens while we evolve.
As an artist I always looked for my original voice that makes me different from other artists. I had the idea that before I am allowed to show up I had to have a style or at least a defined direction.
But every intent to narrow up my preferences would lead to frustration.
During these condensed days of painting in the warm air and under a tree with birds singing I could hear or sense the murmur of my voice. It comes when you don`t push so hard.
Nicholas once gave a teaching about style and proclaimed spontanously: My style is how I evolve. My style is me evolving.
There is so much freedom and joy in that asssertion. It clicked in me.
There is that process of becoming that we need to fully embrace in order to love the journey. That shift in perception we need to experience several times before we begin to feel different.
Misty deep blue reflection
Can you stay focused?
Focus and awareness
At the moment I am skiing in Switzerland, a really rare interruption from painting or at least of the availability of my studio. Every day is different, my constitution is different, my mood, my fitness. I am not really a very good skier so I have to pay attention when the slope get`s too steep. When the slope is more even I can try new moves and improve my performance.
Yesterday I crashed because I felt too weak to hold the steady tension in my musles.
And I noticed that I forced myself to keep up with the skiing companions. Too much focus for a long time creates a feeling of struggle. I felt the need to expand my vision field, to look at nature, to listen to my feelings, to be more in tune with my state.
First I felt frustrated because I valued my strain as a weakness or failure. Even camparison as the thief of joy appeared and made me grumpy!
After a while I noticed that there is another way to be present and that`s through awareness.
Speeding downhill requires focus, no time to notice subtleties. I need to move slower sometimes because it creates a connection between my inner being and the world around.
I take these experiences metaphorically and thought they can be applied to art practise. Sometimes we are focused on the action part of the game, moving material, moving ourselves in front of the canvas, concentrating on a specific task that requires our full attention. Focus is tiring after a while. And we need to step again in another sort of presence where we connect with our feelings to the world we`re moving in.
It seems healthy for me to know when to switch between focus to awareness and viceversa.
What do you think?