by Joyce-Anne Locking
Every place we go, everything we do, there is always a certain atmosphere in the air. It may be tense, it may be friendly, or it may be any number of other descriptions. There are many different atmospheres in our daily lives. The highway may be crowded or clear. The house may be noisy or quiet. Our visitors may be vibrant or they may be worried about something that is bothering them. Every person we come into contact with creates an influencing atmosphere on our daily energy. If they compliment us, we feel one way. If they yell at us, we feel another way. Whatever the atmosphere, if we could paint it or draw it, what would it look like? Would the colours be vivid or pale? Would the lines be heavy or thin? Would images be large or small?
All of these changing atmospheres or energies influence our daily experience and directly sway the process of our creative expression. Whether we thrive, expand, or block creatively all depends upon how we process these different atmospheres and energies. We must learn to use the negatives in a positive way and to release negative experiences quickly. We can purify our atmosphere through the act of meditation. As we learn to keep ourselves calm and peaceful, we can experience a cleansing of the aura around us. Only in this way are we able to continue the process of creative expression in a natural, uncluttered, and positive way. We then may use these external energies to fuel our own creative work, allowing it to blossom.
Adjust your Point of View
Great art, experts say, is great because you are able to keep finding new ways of looking at it. You don't quite know a piece of artwork, or how great it is in quality, until you have lived with it awhile. At first glance you may find a painting to be very attractive and comforting. You may even want to own it on sight. As time passes, however, you learn whether or not a work passes the test. Without even consciously trying to, you begin to see the picture differently, and as you do, you may also find your opinion of its quality has changed.
In time, you find things in a painting you were unable to see before. I recently found a new way of looking at one of my own paintings. This particular painting hung on the wall in semi-darkness at the time of day I was observing it In the next room, as I glanced over at the now-shadowed painting, all that stood out from my viewpoint was a colourless texture. It was simply too dark to recognize colour. It is interesting to consider texture by itself. It has its own pattern and variation and is quite separate from other components of the composition. Seeing only the texture, the picture projected an entirely different image. It was a new way of looking at the painting, and this in itself was a testament to the value of my own art, at least in the eyes of its creator.
To test any object of art for greatness, try spending time alone with it or keeping it at eye-level for a time. Sneak a peek at it while there are visitors in the room. Although others' opinions may vary in regard to the value of the art, don't let their opinions shake your own. (This is not as easy as it sounds, especially if the work in question is your own.) After a few days, weeks, or months, see if the artwork still has the same appeal to you. If you find you have grown closer to it as years go by, I'd say it has passed the test of time. At least, it has in my point of view.
Nature Does it Best Whether we are roaming through natural fields, or hiking along a river, nature's art is such a treasure to experience. Today my footsteps led to the ravine I spent quite a bit of time enjoying back in July. Then, the swamp-like section of the park was abundantly filled with red wing blackbirds. Now, there is no sign of any such thing. Little white butterflies replace the summer birds that used to sing and flutter in the long grasses.
Where grass was lush and green on my summer visits, shades of bronze and gold sneak in. As the wind moves through towering grass like a summer song, silent music seems to play through the field. Dried golden rod, bobtails, purple petals, and various grasses all dance to the tune of the warm breezes. The company of birds now removed, even though it was just late afternoon, the only sounds were those of crickets.
The energy of the land paints this scene. The range of colour is vast. All of a sudden, I thought I had glimpsed a bird. But when I checked again, I realized it was just a dried, feathery clump of grass at the top of the tall stem. Funny how nature mimics real life. It might have been a giant split milkweed pod. The same natural birdlike shape is consistent throughout the marsh as in any master composition. Nature does it best in painting the fields of Fall. Any artist can only wish to copy the masterpiece!