Art is not What You See

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. –Edgar Degas

Artists don’t look for beauty fully formed. Art is the summoning of the fantastic with effortless action. Planning out the brushstrokes would result in lifeless creation. I was taught to sketch the general idea and to let the work emerge from the media as if it was awakening. When I taught writing I told my students to just let the words tumble onto the page in the first draft – edit later. When the flow of ideas rushes from your hands with immediacy, as if life itself depended on their appearance, that is ART.

Over analyzing the work is like ripping up a tree by the roots in order to study its leaves. Either the piece effects you are it doesn’t. One of my heroes Louis Armstrong said, “There are only two kinds of music, good and bad. You decide which is which.” That is so true. Creation is the lifeblood of an artist. Some have special methods, or warm-ups, and many are superstitious in one way or another. But all live for the next opportunity to create. Critics do not grasp that simple fact. As W.B.Yeats said, “I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly, because you tread upon my dreams.” For most artists, however, criticism from someone they do not respect is like water off a duck’s back.

There are infinite worlds within this world we share. Some worlds are enormous, some are infinitesimal. Making others see something uniquely yours is a singular thrill. Inspiration sparks the forge and when the sparks settle, something extraordinary occurs – enchantment. Being in the flow is exhilarating. A session, for want of a better word, soothes the aches that dog our footsteps during the rest of the “normal” day. A person cannot be lost in reverie constantly because they would lose their way back to reality. This happened to a childhood friend of mine, and he had to be institutionalized for his own protection. No, artistic works can be created in a flurry, but should be edited and reworked over time. Some pieces do arrive fully formed from the ether. And these are the rarest jewels in our collections.

All life spirals through time from initiation to completion, only to return to the beginning. As we were born from mystery, so shall we be transformed through illumination. These infinite worlds within us all are the artwork of creation. You create your day in the best way you can.

*NOTE: I am going to be designing a new website which will include my everythingisbeachy blog. It should be ready sometime soon. Thank you for reading.

Published by cewheeler

Writer/Artist:12 years in China – univ. lecturer: writing,poetry,culture; editor – magazine/newspaper & actor. 40 years students of the Tao. Traveler. Father. Read my books at: amazon.com/author/wheelerce

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