Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Experimentation In Art

I feel bad because I have not posted anything in a while. So with the advent of 2013 I have decided to commit to posting on the blog regularly. Despite the non-blogging it has been a busy time... lots of art has been created. The time has been marked by much experimentation.

Experimentation can be a great thing. In years past I have been content with exploring the same limited subject matter: cityscapes, the figure, religious work. Once in a while I would do something else that I really enjoyed: an interior; a landscape. So the last few months I have been "bouncing around" a lot, and painting all sorts of different things, and trying new stuff. Why? Well, for no other reason then to branch out, and not be pigeonholed. Perhaps out of boredom too.... painting the same old thing gets old.

But my period of experimentation has basically lead me back to where I was before... or maybe even a more restricted place. I am now focusing entirely on sacred art. The experimentation was valuable in the sense that it helped me reacquaint myself with me and the art that I am supposed to do. Having lived for nine months without painting it has taken a year and a half to really begin to get back in the groove. The experimentation period was valuable if for no other reason for me to find myself artistically once more. And I was able to bring some new techniques and a clearer mind with me as well.

That indeed is the value of experimentation in whatever area of life we do it. It can open us up to new horizons... even, strangely, by returning us whence we came. On one hand the time may seem to be wasted. But on the other - and this was the case with me - it can be a time of artistic learning and growth... not one that results in the production of the "masterpiece" but nonetheless one that helps get you heading back in that direction.

The danger, of course, is that one can become lost down rabbit trails in experimentation (in art, or life), and get totally lost. Throughout this period I have been in prayer for God to show me what to do, and where to go. Were it not for that I feel that my experimentation would have perhaps lead me to eventually stop painting. But since I long ago committed my life and art to God, under the shadow of his wings I have been able to branch out a bit to see where he was leading me and come back stronger, not artistically (or spiritually) destroyed, from it.

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