Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How I Work/ Does Art Just Come to Me?

I have been asked if the artwork I create "just comes to me". Art may sometimes be received with an impact of wonder to the viewer. Given this, there can be an assumption of the piece having flowed out of an artist's talented powers. My artwork, or any ability, is not driven by the vague or mystical. While I may be inspired at any stage from planning to creation, or be moved to do a certain theme, the bottom line is it takes work to create art. As I do, I use the creative energy of a natural talent. Throughout the process, however, applied work and time is required, like any other endeavor anyone may pursue. One may do the same with music, numbers, or building materials. Each of our vocations requires honing our skills. They do not come overnight. Art may appear mysterious - how did he do that? In reality, it requires effort throughout my entire life and in every piece.

Does artwork come easy? Creativity may stem from a natural ability, yet each art piece has its own challenges. As I work my foremost goal is to capture the subject using all my skill, and to stretch, pull, and learn more each time I create. This is the part that interests me and drives me the most. At times, this aspect may not be easy. The challenge is to keep the desire to do my utmost, even when it may be hard to do.  Those moments will come, they are a given. I make plenty of mistakes, working through them.

We find a prevalent idea with non-artists and some artists concerning the need to "feel it" or be moved and inspired or we can not work. If there are artists who work this way, I suspect they would find the ability within themselves if they are not limited to that idea.  This is not the case for me. I can create art anytime. I work everyday. Any obstacle within me, or in the work, is something to be adjusted to. To wait for inspiration, or when I feel right will only keep me from working. To keep doing art, moving from one piece to the next, is natural for me. Oftentimes inspiration comes when I simply sit to work on it, as I go. I find inspiration for my next pieces with subjects I want to portray, or by an idea behind them I wish to explore. Each week I will go through tough times, tedious periods, and moments when I need to set the piece aside for the next day.

Being an artist is enjoyable. The satisfaction of a completed work and the creativity needed for it are great motivations. I find that if I have spent an extended period away from the art table, my mood is affected. Productivity gives us a sense of propose, to remove this can lead to negative emotions.

A special joy is found in God giving us the ability to be creative. A wonderful gift He gives us, pointing right back to Him as all Creation is His awesome handiwork. How wonderful that He creates each of us with different talents. Our Creator gives each one talent unique to each. For the artist, it encompasses the eyes, the hands, and the mind He fashioned. We paint or draw, showcasing and highlighting what He has already created in vibrant living life. Artists are as if students studying what He has wrought Himself - yet mere children of dust who can only appreciate with awe His own glorious handiwork. It is wonderful how God calls us to grow and shine, yet creates in us the ability to do so Himself. With God, He gives a gift to us first and we merely give back to Him what He gave us and fashioned within us.

Artwork: © Jeffrey M Green. "Halved", 16 x 20", colored pencils.