Some artists lean toward precision – each painting must improve on the last one, in demonstrating all the skills that go with proper rendition of a natural subject. Demonstrating a pre-occupation with technique.
A Photo-realist usually reveals his personality – to be one of a methodical and patient ‘reproducer’, with a perfectionist streak.
Other artists prefer the intuitive approach – or at least that is how it is usually described. Where the painting is allowed to emerge from his brushstrokes with no adherence to exact observation in reality – hopefully what emerges is something new, something fresh, something not seen before. Originality.
The danger for the ‘realist’ painter, can be lack of originality. The danger for the intuitive painter – lack of skill, or better put – the lack of the use of skill.
I tend toward the intuitive camp.
Here are two paintings to demonstrate what I mean:
When I was younger, I painted my pictures in a state of emotional turmoil.
Intensity was the name of the game, affirmed in certain quarters as necessary for good art.
The heat of passion was mistakenly understood as some kind of inspiration, without which, it was supposed, no good art could be made.
(I use the word ‘passion’ – not in the ‘serious- dedication-sense’ but in the emotional turmoil sense)
Art practice was sometimes being referred to variously in terms of energy or fervour etc.
The age-old debate about ‘real’ art, ‘true’ art, etc. discussed in the multifarious schools of art-thought, is never ending.
That it’s ‘a matter of opinion’ saves the day. And allows for no definitive answer to the question.
What is art? Craft versus art. Art versus craft.
The mental and emotional fervour I experienced, meant I couldn’t stop painting until the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t leave the brush down.
Now, when starting a painting, such a state of being is no longer there, nor sought, or allowed to be there – by my choice of will.
And especially from a spiritual standpoint I never wish it to return.
One of the fruits of The Holy Spirit is self-control. (Galatians 5/22-24)
Emotional turmoil cannot be allowed to lead our lives as Christians.
We can experience and be led by what ‘blazes in the soul’ or what ‘burns in the spirit’ (W. Nee). The latter being preferable.
There is a difference – and the Grace of God at work in us determines and teaches us the difference by experience.
We can lapse into the soul-dominated life or stay in the Spirit-led life.
Though I/you face the trials of ever-present straying emotions, that beset us easily, (Hebrews 12:1) – bringing temptation of whatever kind –
There is need to:
1 Timothy 4:15-16
16 Take heed to yourself…
and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Taking heed to what is going on within us and seeking God’s enablement to stay in relationship connection with Him. That is the priority goal for all Christians.
In my culture we often use the saying: “Catch yourself on!” Which means – stop what you are doing and realise that you are not in a good state of being, or pursuing the right path, or acting in an acceptable manner.
Much – cries out – to distract us from this paramount endeavour of maintaining our right relationship with and in God, including emotional ‘hyperactivity’ that can hinder our Peace with Him.
There is always a way back from this.
God desires –
II Thess. 1/
7 …to give you who are troubled REST WITH US…
Working Guitar by Ken Riddles
Giving a painting
(Drawing – Communion by Ken Riddles)
Wanted to write to you
In my sincerity
Wanted to address you
with the respect you are due
Wanted to encourage with a hug
Or a pat on the back
Wanted to assure you that
We are both on track
Wanted to give you this
Just to say ‘Hi!”
It’s the last one I have
Hope it’s pleasing to the eye
My scrawls on paper
Will go down in history
Famous for not being famous
It’s just between you and me
As I stack ‘em high
Wall to wall pieces of art
Of no significance to buy
But a token of love set apart
Yes a token of affection
Just a piece of me
To say you’re my friend
And forever you will be