Art and Meaning

Art. Nothing occupies my mind more. It’s always lifted me to the highest possible dreams, so much to understand. The limitless possibility of all that it can contains, in both form and perception. The kind of work I make at the moment is just that kind of opportunity. We all have expression and emotion, in all of it’s flowing reality. I’ve been limiting myself to one form of expression and format for the last month. It’s a digital canvas structure that is specific and unchanging. It gives me the ability to not focus on the infinite choices of form and media. The specificity of staying within these constraints, one size, one canvas, and two brushes, have led me to innovations within the form of my art , at least in my own work, that would have never been possible with all of the considerations of external form. I’m growing with each painting I’m making, and because it’s all digital I can go back at any time to make changes and push the work even further. I’ve made 32 paintings in the last month and a half. It’s become what I’ve always been trying to do on my break, build a body of work. In a way, each of these works has been practice. And perhaps all art is. Changing and developing as we grow.

I’ve always felt there could be a misunderstanding of the art I create, and why I engage in it. My work is made rapidly, reaching through any fixed idea or reality. It happens very fast, and I have a lot of experience, so I make things essentially with no intent in mind. If it has meaning, it is only through intepretation, which can be endless, of the elements and how each combines. Is my work of the subconcisous? I find that a difficult term, since there is no real evidence that a subconscious exists.

My work is extremely personal, yet it remains a mystery, even to me. If it means anything specifically, I assume the same level of interpretation as anyone else. There is so much mystery in art when we create this way. In this way, I think art is timeless. It’s meaning is open to consideration, and for me, highly spiritual. I do not directly intend the work to mean anything specifically. I make work so fast, dream so concretely, that there is no direct symbolism other that what we percieve. As an artist, I’m not didactic. The same way I understand my work is not necessarily what someone else might believe. That is the power of visual art, it speaks so much, and it it’s making, in the current work, the weight of each line and form are perhaps the strongest elements. Yet I spend hours on color, probably the most out of anything in the components that make up the visual form.

That’s especially true of my recent work. In the new series, as noted in a previous post, it all takes place within my imagination. I have no real objectives other than to make the imagination soar and inspire. It’s meaning is art itself. It’s for everyone, not a specific audience. And that may be the most important thing about the new series. As a shift from impressionism and direct representation of the previous series, this work is open to all. It’s from the depths of my being, which I do not particularly understand. Creation is mysterious.

Art can be controversial, and I have felt that I have encountered a specific form of harassment for what I have no understanding of what the possible reasons are. I feel like my work is highly public, and that makes it difficult for me to continue, yet I’ve received so much support for this work that I know I have to. It’s the most productive period of art making that I’ve ever had, as my work grows and begins to flourish. If there are any negative views of what I’m making, it’s not my intent. I’m trying to create work that will allow for a feeling of hope of the freedom of individual expression, which comes through in my process, as I find no fixed meaning of any of the work I create. The new series is of waking dreams, in hope and all it’s reality, peace as an ideal to work toward, and a point of view to inspire, not rely on one specific thing. And in that, I hope anyone who views my work enjoys it and in some small way, sees the beauty in desiring to inspire, in any way I can, for the ability to feel, hope, and dream. I’m just at the beginning of this, and I’m taking a break from writing for the next few weeks, to only focus on this individual form. When I finally reach a level of completion of this period of my work, I’ll post again, and until then, I think this is vital to my progress.

I finally had some time to read for the first time today, and I began by reading the book from which my signature is taken. And this quote about practice, in Zen, really reached me in a place I truly needed. As Dogen completes a short essay, he ends with this sentiment: “We should pray that our whole life will be peaceful, and that our pursuit of the truth will abide in the state without intent.”

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