Tag Archives: creative process

Thoughts on the Process of Art


In my soul searching I have come to a deeper understanding of some of the fundamentals regarding my creative journey.

The process of art is observation. Technical knowledge does not overrule observation at a conscious level.

Mindful seeing. The view is both internal, and external, microcosm, macrocosm, as it is within, so it is without. Sensing space between the lines and forms, data is filtered and new connections made.

Patterns emerge through lines and shapes, forms creating rhythm and texture. Our perception is a projector onto the canvas, reflecting the essence of inspiration.

A lifetime of observation delivers with smooth precision on the canvas effortlessly transformed by imagination. The place where pure expression exists without modification.


Balance is unspoken, an internal knowing. The integration of what at first appears to be opposing forces may be the only true reality.

‘”Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’ ~Keats

A hushed moment, however fleeting, is etched into the mind forever. Trees in their grandeur allow gentle beauty that reaches to the depths of soul. Immersed in the golden pools of light, I gather the energies for the next creative manifestation.

For Creation Sake

view-from-hereA month goes by fast! With my show in the final week; I am already planning a larger show for the main gallery at ArtPoint in April 2010. There is still time to view the current show this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

In the meantime I decided to loosen up and do a bit of fun stuff, while I hold the energy for what is to come. The colour in this landscape are not showing up well here at all. Even photo-shop could not save me. Some pigments just do not photograph well. The mountains have more of a purple tone in real life. This canvas is 8″ X 36″; a size which I have never tried before now.

It is the part of the creative process that I used to think of it as the incubation phase, Yet is a type of holding, while all the pieces are assembled psychically one embodies the essence. The energies collect, creating focus which eventually gives way to form. Before that, it is a gestation period. Clarity of mind before the brush touches canvas is a wonderful thing.

As time goes on, I am not concerned with selling or even what other people think-just interested in the joy of creating. Creation for creation sake. What a concept!

Take Time …

Winter RaysTake time … to notice the beauty which is all around you. When snapping this shot, I was unaware of the multicoloured rays pouring down from the sun.

How many other things slip by unnoticed when we are deeply preoccupied and/or do not have a camera at hand?

Last night I did notice the snow was sparkling between lattice work, magical moonlight casting quiet twig shadows on softly lit snow. The rooftops, perfectly lined with white, against the gray overcast backdrop. I have not been so fortunate to capture night shots the way I have seen them, so I record them in my mind’s eye for future reference.

Calla Lily 6X6The artist eye records all of these things, for the quest of the artist is dependent upon this learning to see. This is a Calla Lily 6X6, I did on gallery wrap canvas. I have a few more little ones coming.

My trip to the Emily Carr show has been delayed until Sunday. I am choosing to fill the well with an artist friend after brunch although my natural instinct is to hide out in this cold weather. The only thing I know for sure is that I will not miss it, so you can expect a report soon.

Here is a most interesting quote from another Canadian artist
which to me describes the state of affairs very well. I am finding this to be so true.

“The creative process is not about the art. It is about the individual. Creative Process is the arrival of the individual toward comprehending the difference.”
©~RFM McInnis

Shepherds PieIf you don’t have time to read a book consider borrowing books on CD from the library. I am listening to “Dark Night of the Soul” by Thomas Moore.

My imaginings tell me the British school teacher in Sudan must be going through something like this at this very moment. I felt enraged when I heard about the incident. Saddened by the intolerance. Yet perhaps in her life, this is a necessary part of her journey. Who can judge? Yet my heart yearns for peace and acceptance for all.

On a lighter note, tonight I made a new recipe, a sort of shepherd’s pie, with ground beef/bison blend & lentils, garlic, onion, spiced with savory and thyme. The crust is made with cooked pureed carrot-cauliflower-potato, then baked in the oven. Delicious comfort food for a cold snowy night! Fighting sleep, yet longing for the warmth of my bed, I bid you adieu.

Creative Process

Creative Process

What are the stages of the creative process? Many models exist to illustrate the process which goes on during the act of creativity.

The one I am most familiar with is the Wallas Model.


Another model which expands further on the process is by Robert Fritz.

Current reality
Take action
Adjust, learn, evaluate, adjust
Building momentum
Living with your creation


Continue reading Creative Process

Trusting the Process

Not so long ago, I had no idea what long handled brushes were for. Hadn’t given it a second thought, until I saw a thread on an artist’s forum discussing the attributes of long handled brushes, I thought I would give them a whirl, in spite of the fact that someone involved in the discussion, informed the others that he found them cumbersome, and he had, in fact, sawed the ends off of his. Still I was intrigued, as in most things, I decided to experiment for myself.

Somewhere during the painting process, when uncertainty starts to cloud my decision making process, and fear tries to make it’s home in me, I try to fend off those pesky little voices that whisper, ‘You started off well, hope you don’t mess this one up. You’ll never get it right. Why don’t you give up now? What ever gave you the idea you could paint, anyway!’

Negative self talk. Where on earth does that come from? I would rather spend my time harmoniously creating, instead of swimming upstream, fighting demons along the way. Yet I suppose overcoming these things, is part of what my path is.

Did I mention how I love my long handled brushes? It allows me to give up some of the control, that I think I possess. The more I let go, the creative flow takes on a life of it’s own, the better things work out. Sometimes experimenting with new tools is just the breath of fresh air that is needed to keep myself afloat.

It all comes down to trusting the process . . . believing and letting go. All easier said than done.

The Cosmic Dancer

The Cosmic Dancer

Joseph Campbell examines a quote by Nietzsche, who said;
“Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division … is the talent of the master.” ~ Nietzsche
“The Cosmic Dancer,” declares Nietzsche, “does not rest heavily in a single spot, but gaily, lightly, turns, and leaps from one position to another.” ~Joseph Campbell
The cosmic dancer gold

The concept of the Cosmic Dancer fascinated me when I first read it. As an artist, I identified my feelings about my own art and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Mainly, in the difficulties of these times, how do we find a balance between creating and sustaining ourselves?

To create, one must isolate oneself in a state of consciousness that allows creation to occur. We artists often call it the flow, extremely focused, and operating free of time and space, in-distractable. It is the vulnerability to the process of the art. When I am in create mode, with my senses elevated, I am painfully aware of every shadow, line, and form of inner landscapes.

Flow State

I find myself going deep within; I fall into a dreamlike state during the painting process. As artists, we protect our ability to create; we must guard against distractions; to manifest our perceptions and get them out on the canvas, we must be in touch with the unconscious, letting it flow through us.

Later, when reality sets in, we may find ourselves driven by the need to make money by selling our art. Exposing ourselves to new things can “fill the well,” eventually presenting the world with our offerings, our perceptions, in an attempt to, as Campbell puts it, “bring life back to the wasteland where people live in-authentically.” This is the challenge of the Cosmic Dancer.

On This Side of the Abyss

My experience when feeling overwhelmed creates an opportunity for the inner and outer worlds to collide. For example, I am in creative mode, the phone rings, and somebody wants money for something. Or, while standing on a crowded bus on my way to buy art supplies, I must process all sorts of foreign energies swirling around me. It can be overwhelming.

It is not these actual tasks that are difficult; it is making the transition between the inner and outer worlds, time and time again, which invokes the challenge—having to adapt and change at a moment’s notice to navigate the great abyss. We strive, but the Cosmic Dancer is a master at this.

cosmic dancer, water rocks, trees

Being an Artist

Being an artist feels like being an onion without its outer skin. Things only can deeply impress or wound me when I allow it. Yet, in venturing out in this over-sensitized state, I find myself easily overstimulated by my external environment. It can be exhausting. Unable to turn ourselves on and off on a whim, we must somehow stay in tune with the natural flow so that it may flow through us to create.

The Call

Is staying on one side of the abyss or the other easier? Let’s not. Let’s say we did; as the old expression goes, why not skip it?

Unless we have a catalyst to take the plunge, most will find it much easier to live the shadow life, doing something secondary to their art in a related field—no need to face and overcome fears that seem too difficult to surmount.

This refusal of the call, says Campbell, creates a kind of “drying up, a sense of life lost.”
The shadow life allows us to stay close to what we secretly love, but without taking risks, and by the same token, without the payoffs.

The Master

To become a master, we must hone our skills and abilities. While the world swirls around us, we strive to find inner peace, attempting to quell our anxiety. The circle requires completion, so we must return the great abyss to ourselves. Then across the chasm again for our journey.

What do we have to lose? We strive towards honourable pursuits. Why not live out our dreams, allowing our deep-seated purpose to take the forefront? We must live authentically; we must do it. Will you answer the call of the Cosmic Dancer?

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