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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

The Power in Painting

“So far as visual artists are concerned, I think that they are able to work with the material from their subconscious mind without control…That is to say, that the information is permitted to flow through without blockage, and the reason why some people are not able to produce art is, in my opinion due to the fact that their conscience mind acts as a barrier, and they are only able to produce work which is controlled entirely by their conscience mind without free association.”                                                                                                  Lynn Chadwick

I have frequently written about the dialogue between the artist and the viewer, and ways in which we can make our story told in a clear way.  Today I want to address the conversation the artist has with himself.

Mixed media painting by FL artist Carolyn land

Sunrise After the Night Storm

The true “creative spirit” is achieved when the mind quiets and the subconscious mind takes over.  That is the “power in painting”.  You will recognize when this happens.  It is when you realize you have been painting for hours, and you have no recollection of the time that has past.  Pat Dews says… “Have a love affair with your paint”.  Do that, and lose yourself in it.  If you let yourself go, and are present only with your paint and the act of creating, your work will reflect a strength, honesty, and freshness that is unique to you.  The act of painting, or creating any type of art, transports you places, your conscience mind cannot go.  There is time after that to make alterations to the composition.

I suggested ways in earlier posts, about how to start your work so this can happen.  If you limit your palette and lay down a format, you can let yourself go, and let the “creative spirit” take over. The painting will have “good bones” to build on. The other way is to just paint, and when you are done, find the best parts to keep, and add connectors…a little light here, and little dark there.  If this line were thicker or thinner, the eye could get over there.  Every piece you paint does not need to be a perfect painting, but every painting should show who you are!

Painting is not only a conversation with the viewer, it is you putting your inner self out to be viewed. It is the conversation your unconscious mind has with your conscious one.  We are all unique, let that uniqueness show, and make it an honest, thoughtful, conversation.

“What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind, so called reality.  I am seeking for the bridge which leads the visible to the invisible…My aim is to always get hold of the magic of reality and to transfer this reality to paint.”                                                                                                          Max Beckmann    

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