“Begin at the beginning… and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” (Lewis Carroll)
Some of the best advice I ever received on the process of painting was: “You stand in front of the canvas, you put paint on it and eventually it is finished.” I have used this counsel when I have wondered what possibly might come next, that point where there are no more markers on which way to wander. Sometimes I just put some random marks or shapes on the canvas and strive to a spontaneous and intuitive response, the rhythm in the colors, the unknown. I see where that takes me and ease into the flow. I need to keep putting the paint on the surface and in this process of engagement, exploration, and experimentation; I stumble across the finished painting.
By keeping the wonderment of exploration where there is no right / wrong dichotomy, we can arrive at a different and sometimes surprising outcome. We artists always need to keep ourselves open to what might come to us without reflection and planning.
It is the traditional “product verses process.” While it is evident that the culture we inhabit is rooted in the necessity of “product” — it is for artists to soar in this time of discovery. I do believe there is a place for reflection, musing, dreaming – but we do not follow a blueprint, the edict of “no coloring outside the lines.”
Artists do not like to repeat themselves. By leaving ourselves open to possibilities, we make progress in our expression and connection with the universe. Creativity is a liberating force.
How do you consider the beginning and finishing a work of art?