Tag Archives: ken danby


Peony WIPProcess


The work continues on my two latest. I am concentrating on allowing the natural process of art to flow from the unconscious, while hopefully not engaging interference from the ego.

John Ruskin explains in his book Emotion and Art how it is not the stages of creating art which are problematic, but the mismanagement of these states which are the issue. This is a very good book, not only for artists, but also for anyone who is working through emotional issues.

In reading this, I was able to understand my difficulty in finishing works. I thought it was my perfectionist tendencies. Now a new light has been shone on the subject. I have been mismanaging the stage in the artistic process which comes after a finished work, which most often includes depression.

Flow WIPSo depression is not the problem, it is our inability to manage this. Who wants to be depressed? Wouldn’t it be better to be in a high state all of the time? This is not a realistic plan, although the subconscious rapidly processes things, without our knowing.

This is a good way to end up in a burnout situation, as you haven’t allowed the lows to balance out the highs. Suppressing negative feelings is what got us into difficulty in the first place. Using this time to replenish our energy, will keep us in an optimal state. Moving with the ebb and flow of life, allows us to manage each stage. The artistic process, properly used, can promote healing and spiritual growth.

It is important to create awareness around the feelings that come up, while being able to step outside those feelings. Ruskan suggests we observe them from a ‘witness’ perspective, rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. Being on overload is not going to make us receptive to anything. Naturally it will encourage us to reject these feelings. This provides ample opportunity to project onto others. We are trying to achieve balance. Part of doing so includes opening the window to the unconscious. We need acceptance for all that flows through us.

I still have a way to go … but hey … I am on the path. 

You may have heard about the death artist Ken Danby, only 67. If you would like to express condolences or comment this blog has been set up for accolades. He found his fate while canoeing in Algonquin Park. Tom Thompson, artist of group of Seven fame, mysteriously disappeared in this park, and was found to have died there.