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Old 06-26-2012, 01:16 AM
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stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

I don't have much trouble understanding saje...

"Understanding" and "Agreeing with" are two different things.

What it boils down to is that there are as many different paths to creating art as there are artists...

And have not I and others repeatedly stated the same thing?

...the nature of our materialist society tends to overwhelm those who approach art through spiritual means.

I'm not certain I fully agree with that. I have never felt that there is a dominance of mercenary careerism involved here.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not particularly spiritual, I'm rather fond of money and toys, and one of the few things I ever liked about Picasso was his statement that "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

But I am also aware that averaged tradition tends to become codified as morality - i.e. that what people have usually done becomes seen as the only right way to do things. This has a net effect of cutting off the outliers of the distributions of human experience, which in the long run kills creativity.


You are being kind, caldwell... If we are honest here, we will discover that it was not those who take "professional" (for a lack of a better word) approach to creating art who initially dismissed the "outliers":

"this is a chorus in a mausoleum of self congratulatory amiss!"

the person that is uninspired probably has trouble viewing or creating art that is inspirational.

this is the misconceptions that the blantant bias here in this "chorus of the popular mass" find comfort in the misalign of the truth.

this dismissal favors this Guild of the historical and is just an easy and safe flag to rap around ones insecure self.

(Gee! I wonder who that barb was aimed at? )

"TRAP" is the word where this post's "hole" is dug in the "Mauseleum" of Work Art.

Inspiration is not elitist... it is more real than the realists escape from reality.

i humbly am genuine... most production or professional artists will not touch, less copy what i am saying.

(He may humbly be genuine... but he seems far from genuinely humble.)

As I have stated repeatedly... as you have suggested... there are as many different paths to art as there are artists. To suggest that an artist who has chosen a different path from your own is dwelling in a mausoleum... or is choosing a safe and easy path... or is little more than a careerist or escapist... these are all rather insulting to most artists. We may employ such critical comments when referring to various "art stars"... but such are the wages of celebrity. But to dismiss the notion of self discipline, practice, and perhaps a degree of knowledge gleaned from the examples of one's predecessors as "elitist"... and then turn around and declare:

there is the psyche, an inner being, soul, spirit. what ever you want to call that inner connection, it exist. not everyone is available to that inspiration-

... well... what is one to make of that? "I am a "true" artist. A spiritually "deep" individual in touch with my inner being... my soul... unlike the rest of you materialistic schleps and commercial hacks. My art... unlike yours... has real 'meaning'."

Placing "amateur" and "dilletante" at a disadvantage against "professional" is in a sense symbolic; "dilletante" derives from one who delights in something; "amateur" from one who does something for the love of it; "professional" from one who enters religious orders. I personally have little interest in following the rules laid down by others, and have been very lucky in being able to make my way through doing what I love, and take delight in. But to each his own.

"Amateur", "Dilettante", "Professional", "Careerist"... all "loaded" terms that can take on a negative connotation. Who would deny that Michelangelo, Durer, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Raphael, J.S. Bach, John Donne, Milton, etc... were clearly "professionals"... and yet did this preclude them from achieving art of the greatest spiritual depth and meaning? The notion of the amateur or dilettante who create solely for the love of creating art is noble enough... but is it inherently more noble than the individual so enamored of art that he or she would seek make it his or her very life's blood and profession? And as we continue on this subject, is it a necessity that all art (or art "with meaning") be focused upon the "spiritual"?

Artists all have different agenda.

Again... I wholly agree.

You (StephenC) might be interested in entrancing your viewer; I'm interested in understanding and expressing the humanity of the people I deal with, informed by art history, neuroscience and the metaphor of Bayesian analysis; saje is interested in expressing the concepts of ecstatic naturalism.

I'll not try to define the artistic goals of other members here. It's hard enough putting my own goals into words.

if I understand the little of Corrington I've read, saje's actually has a long pedigree - Corrington appears to be highly influenced by Theosophy, and that philosophy played a key role in modern art at the beginning of the 20thC (for example, Klimt, Gauguin, Modriaan, and Kadinsky were influenced by it, as well as many others).

As an aside... I will note that most artists (including those you named) were far more inspired by the art of the predecessors than by philosophers, psychologists, and theologists. Whatever one's passion may be... if one is an artist, ultimately one must give this passion a visual form. One's artistic predecessors aid in learning how to employ the visual vocabulary and language... although ultimately one must employ this to one's own ends.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:13 AM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

"I am a "true" artist. A spiritually "deep" individual in touch with my inner being... my soul... unlike the rest of you materialistic schleps and commercial hacks. My art... unlike yours... has real 'meaning'."

Who actually said this? I must have missed something.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:38 AM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

"I am a "true" artist. A spiritually "deep" individual in touch with my inner being... my soul... unlike the rest of you materialistic schleps and commercial hacks. My art... unlike yours... has real 'meaning'."

This is not an actual quote but rather an interpretation of what has been posted over time. When an individual dismisses the art of others here as dwelling in a mausoleum, focused solely upon careerist goals, lacking in "meaning", "uninspired" as opposed to one's own efforts, it is hard to be openly generous toward his artistic vision.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:30 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

I see, so you are putting words in his mouth then. Do you think or are you certain Saje really feels that way? Or are you taking what he says to mean this?

I'm not saying I agree with everything he says either, but to be fair, he didn't actually say that. This is your interpretation.

I can understand his premise. Perhaps it is not as extreme as you gather? Why not ask questions instead of assuming and battling? Just a thought. I'm also not suggestion for you to be generous towards his artistic vision either, but trying to change his view is probably futile. What is wonderful about each of us as artists is that we all have our own approach to art making. I really don't think there is one right way and one wrong way (personally).

I work when I want to, and sometimes I start when I don't feel like it and the inspiration quickly follows. If it didn't, I wouldn't be able to do it. But I DO think as artists we are just most usually inspired by the nature of the way we are. We are all visionaries in some fashion or another. Whose to say one's work has more depth or meaning than another? It's all subjective and that is for the viewer to decide ultimately anyway. Don't you agree?
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:07 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

StLuke's is telling it like it is... And of course the original debate-trigger was merely a statement about getting stuck.

artyczar I was trying to point out saje's spin, there was no need for Saje to polarize this subject with negative words and heavy labels about making uninspired art, and doing so resulted in an argument made of illusions and against figments
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:27 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

I was only trying to be diplomatic is all. Not add flames. That's the last thing I intend to do.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:29 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

There is a great documentary available on Netflix called "The Woodman's" which is about Francesca Woodman (photographer) and her artist parents George (painter) and Betty (ceramics.) Making art has always been Betty and George's priority even to the point of subordinating their parental responsibilities. Francesca committed suicide at 22. She was only recognized after her death and her parents only very late in their lives.

In any case, George addressed this issue saying something like, "Inspiration? Go to the studio! If you don't have an idea, sharpen pencils. If you sharpen enough pencils, an idea will come to you." I'm paraphrasing, but I got the pencil sharpening quote verbatim.

Often I find that I really dislike a painting I've worked on. The original inspiration is gone and the whole thing looks like crap. The only way forward is to take a leap into the unknown - risk making it even worse, paint out sections I was so fond of initially, turn it into something else. Of course, there is always the trash bin! This certainly doesn't "feel" like inspiration in the moment, but so often the result of this struggle is something far better than I expected.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:35 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

Quote:
Originally Posted by artyczar
I see, so you are putting words in his mouth then. Do you think or are you certain Saje really feels that way? Or are you taking what he says to mean this?

I'm not saying I agree with everything he says either, but to be fair, he didn't actually say that. This is your interpretation.

I can understand his premise. Perhaps it is not as extreme as you gather? Why not ask questions instead of assuming and battling? Just a thought. I'm also not suggestion for you to be generous towards his artistic vision either, but trying to change his view is probably futile. What is wonderful about each of us as artists is that we all have our own approach to art making. I really don't think there is one right way and one wrong way (personally).

I work when I want to, and sometimes I start when I don't feel like it and the inspiration quickly follows. If it didn't, I wouldn't be able to do it. But I DO think as artists we are just most usually inspired by the nature of the way we are. We are all visionaries in some fashion or another. Whose to say one's work has more depth or meaning than another? It's all subjective and that is for the viewer to decide ultimately anyway. Don't you agree?


artyczar, you have taken this discussion to the root, core of the situation.

i have seen for years the demeaning of those that speak of the spirit of creativity. i have been laughed at, mocked for what i believe. look back at the "art with meaning" thread on about page 4 of the Creativity thread. if this is a group for the freedom of individuality then why would anyone be accused of being, for example in this thread, an eight year old for not signing my work. did anyone first ask why? signing your work is a criteria for 'professionalism'. really! there are some 'parameter defining dictators' here in wc that pounce the Creativity and Cafe threads for Members, New and continuing to mimic their self image and leave no room for growth themself. now, here we have someone assimilating what others actuallly are saying.

my initial post on this thread was brash, to say the least. it was just a 'here we go again' with the description of "inspiration" as being a "trap". this fits into some folks predetermined goal for their own assurance but shows little tolerance less "creativity" which is what this thread should be, to me at least.

if i can leave open, within the discussions, some respect for those that live by inspiration, my brashness will have some value. if a new member can post their feelings without being trash talked toward communal parameters, then i will take the interpretations others have as wound with worth. it all should be about art. there is some hope.

thanks

Last edited by saje : 06-26-2012 at 02:17 PM. Reason: cleanup
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:33 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

Quote:
Originally Posted by saje
it all should be about art

Or perhaps more correctly, it should all be about saje. Hopefully in my future threads this cycle does not repeat. Just because you're good at psychological gymnastics does not mean the workout will make you fit. Remember that.. coming from a guy who has been where you are and grew out of it.

Last edited by theartofvincent : 06-26-2012 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:33 PM
StephenC StephenC is offline
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

Of course it really is Saje who began by saying "this is a chorus in a mausoleum of self-congratulatory amiss". This was in response to others who offered advice in an honest effort to help the original poster. I suppose what Saje meant, in so far as he meant anything, was that he thought the advice amounted to a chorus of self-congratulation. Saje's comments offered nothing to the OP except to call into question the artistic integrity, spirit and inspiration of the other artists in contrast to his own inspired self.

When he tell others to "bring it", Saje should not be surprised when they actually do.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:07 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

so, if we can eliminate the sarcastic quips and let it be about art and inspiration, as per the original posts intent, we'll get as many notions as people and should respect that.

how 'bout we try that, hmm

i need inspiration to grab and shake me
this gets the idea onto the page, sketched on a canvas
i need skill and knowledge of technique and the like
to get the idea to a satisfactory level of completion

note i say 'need', not 'prefer', it is a need
i suck at producing art when uninspired
and i understand this
so when inspiration hits i tend to sketch many boards
over the course of many days

when inspiration doesn't hit, for visual arts
i turn to literary arts and write

this tells me there's room to work on my technical side
and it'll happen, it's happening
but ya know what, inspiration is more important

whether it's 'good' or not is ultimately subjective
and quite irrelevant when dealing with inspiration
imho

la
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:29 PM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

I see, so you are putting words in his mouth then. Do you think or are you certain Saje really feels that way? Or are you taking what he says to mean this?

Seeing that I made the use of a slew of direct quotes I don't quite think that I am putting words into his mouth... with the possible exception of the sarcastic distillation of the general gist of these quotes. If you imagine them to mean something far different, I would love to hear your interpretation. At the same time I am wholly open to saje offering his own interpretation. Perhaps referring to the rest of us dwelling within a mausoleum has some grand positive connotation that I and others here have missed due to some cultural difference.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:47 PM
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Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Re: The Trap of Inspiration

There is a great documentary available on Netflix called "The Woodman's" which is about Francesca Woodman (photographer) and her artist parents George (painter) and Betty (ceramics.) Making art has always been Betty and George's priority even to the point of subordinating their parental responsibilities. Francesca committed suicide at 22. She was only recognized after her death and her parents only very late in their lives.

In any case, George addressed this issue saying something like, "Inspiration? Go to the studio! If you don't have an idea, sharpen pencils. If you sharpen enough pencils, an idea will come to you." I'm paraphrasing, but I got the pencil sharpening quote verbatim.


I love Woodman's photographs. WC! Member, OliveOyl introduced them here some short time ago, although I first came across her in ARTnews or Art in America:



Often I find that I really dislike a painting I've worked on. The original inspiration is gone and the whole thing looks like crap. The only way forward is to take a leap into the unknown - risk making it even worse, paint out sections I was so fond of initially, turn it into something else. Of course, there is always the trash bin! This certainly doesn't "feel" like inspiration in the moment, but so often the result of this struggle is something far better than I expected.

It took me a long time to recognize that almost every painting enters something often referred to as the "ugly stage". Logic dictates that one cannot remain in the original state of ecstatic inspiration with which one began a painting... unless one works in a rapid manner and completes a given work in a single setting. Everyday life intervenes. You go home. You engage in the little banalities of existence... and then you return and... try to pick up where you left off... and if you imagine that you cannot pick up work again until you are once again "inspired", a lot of paintings are going to end up unfinished. I say this from experience... having tossed out... or tried to wholly rework any number of paintings when the initial ecstatic state seemed lost. Only later did I come to realize that the initial inspiration was not lost simply because I was no longer in the same mental state. I don't need to be in a state of depression or joy to continue to work on a painting that conveys these emotions.
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"Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea."- John Ciardi
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:19 AM
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

i have seen for years the demeaning of those that speak of the spirit of creativity. i have been laughed at, mocked for what i believe.

saje... I doubt that anyone here mocks the notion of "creativity"... or even the concept of that ecstatic state of "inspiration". Even the most mercenary "professional" has probably experienced it. Where you have drawn enmity of others is where you have put forth this false dichotomy of your artistic vision vs everyone else' where your path to creating results in "art with meaning" and anyone taking a different path ends up in some "mausoleum".

if this is a group for the freedom of individuality then why would anyone be accused of being, for example in this thread, an eight year old for not signing my work. did anyone first ask why? signing your work is a criteria for 'professionalism'.

Personally, I can't speak on this issue. I don't tend to sing my work, myself... or not until I sell it or put it in storage. I actually had the experience of a judge in a juried exhibition rescinding an award that he had given me for a painting because I hadn't signed it... and as such he assumed I was ashamed of it. When I do sign a work I tend to place the signature on the back along with information as the the title, date, dimensions, material, etc... for documentation purposes.

there are some 'parameter defining dictators' here in wc that pounce the Creativity and Cafe threads for Members, New and continuing to mimic their self image and leave no room for growth themself. now, here we have someone assimilating what others actuallly are saying.

Considering the fact that we are all adults here (or mostly) and have our own individual ideas, values, and paths toward creativity, I don't see that anyone might be defined as a "dictator". Anyone unable to think for themselves... grow in the manner that they believe... because someone else has disagreed with their views, is quite probably not the sort of individual that is at all suited to art.

my initial post on this thread was brash, to say the least. it was just a 'here we go again' with the description of "inspiration" as being a "trap".

The "trap" spoken of in the OP was that of imagining that one cannot work... one cannot create art... except when one is in the thralls of ecstatic inspiration. No one was defining "inspiration" as a "trap" or suggesting that it does not exist. As I stated in the above post:

Logic dictates that one cannot remain in the original state of ecstatic inspiration with which one began a painting... unless one works in a rapid manner and completes a given work in a single setting. Everyday life intervenes. You go home. You engage in the little banalities of existence... and then you return and... try to pick up where you left off... and if you imagine that you cannot pick up work again until you are once again "inspired", a lot of paintings are going to end up unfinished. I say this from experience... having tossed out... or tried to wholly rework any number of paintings when the initial ecstatic state seemed lost. Only later did I come to realize that the initial inspiration was not lost simply because I was no longer in the same mental state. I don't need to be in a state of depression or joy to continue to work on a painting that conveys these emotions.

I spent the day working on the floor tiling... tessellations... for my current WIP:



I can't honestly say that this is a process that inspires a great deal of ecstasy... nor do I imagine that it is all the necessary for this state of the project. This does not mean that I have lost the initial "inspiration"... the idea or feeling or whatever that drove me to begin the painting to start with.

Again... ff you disagree... and feel that you can only work when in the throws of ecstatic bliss or inspiration or the muse... then fine for you... but please don't assume or suggest that others who take a path different from yourself lack "creativity" or "meaning" or "inspiration" or "passion".
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"Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea."- John Ciardi
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:23 PM
artyczar
 
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Re: The Trap of Inspiration

I often deal with physical fatigue and that is a big hindrance to a LOT of my creative time. I have to fight against it.

My mind might be inspired, but my body just can't move in the way my inspired head is wanting to go. I will do short sketches during these times and hope that those little ideas can become paintings in the future. I usually have no lack of projects in this way. I have this backlog of ideas sitting there wanting to be born into full artworks. The problem is that when I am feeling physically able, I am usually most excited about my latest idea, so many of those archive of ideas never get their chance.

Anyone else feel this?

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