Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday Thoughts...

“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.” 

James McNeill Whistler

I think sometimes we think we are directing the work; that we have a plan and that we follow a certain path to get there.  And that definitely holds true, but often times, I think tat in fact the work is created from a place of almost blankness, of no thinking, of mind emptiness.

I wonder if thinking doesn't help - if too much critical assessment along the way impedes the truest and best work.  I guess another way of thinking about it is that we create best when we are in the flow - the magical time when everything comes together in a beautiful way, without our guidance or control, and when everything seems synchronised and the logical next step occurs without us thinking about it.

Almost as if our subconscious is able to bring together all that it knows and understands...

All very convoluted, but I think those moments are magic.

Not great art, but I can recall seven years later the joy of exploring what the copper wire could do -making it up as I went along...


  1. Greetings, Fiona! Yes, I am of the "mind" that thinking often gets in the way of the creative process. At least for some folks...or perhaps even, at some point in the process. It seems a subtle dance, letting go and then some critical thinking and contemplation. I guess tuning that dial is different for everyone. Your copper wire exploration does look like it was a joyful process! Cheers, P

  2. hmmm... in this era of defunding of art education where art is seen as a lifestyle choice rather than a vocation, I really disagree with working from a place of no mind it takes a lifetime to become an artist, everything we have ever done builds & brings life into the work...

    1. I can see exactly why creating from no mind makes it sound as if whatever it is that appears is art - and I agree completely with you Mo when you say it takes a lifetime to become an artist and to bring good art into the world. I think my thinking was about the moments - Mm art is often intentional, purposeful and deliberate - my critical thinking is analysing does this work, is this the right material, what is this saying, if i add or subtract how does that change things - so yes all of my life experiences and learning coalesce into my work. I think i was pondering those moments when you can empty your mind and let the part of the thing or the moment simply come into being and admire it.
      The arts are under threat on so many fronts I would never want to suggest its a lifestyle choice! Arrrgh. Seriously? How do these people become powerful and influencers? Beyond belief...

    2. and it's happening on a global level... these are strange days indeed!
      on the letting go of expectations in process, here's my favourite Michael Leunig lecture from a few years back-

      & on a lighter note Madeleine said your brother picked up the type yesterday from Artsite, let's catch up for dinner and a drink with Madeleine next time you're in the Big Smoke

    3. Thanks Mo - I've saved it! What a delight exploration in so many ways - love the audience too. Yes, Andrew said he'd collected the type how wonderful. Will definitely let you know when we are next in town - most likely around Christmas...

  3. I think that often the best work comes out of playing with materials, exploring, seeing what it will do. And then building on this experience, becoming critical and using it to express whatever you (and it) are trying to say.

    1. I think so too Jac - nothing is everything; everything is a combination of many things. Play is so wonderful; but so is careful application and critique, and practice, so I guess my initial ponder really simply applied to those lovely moments of 'flow'...Building and mastering is important too...I like where this conversation has gone! Go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.