Thursday, January 15, 2009

A day of nothing. My first day of nothing of 2009. I've been trying to do some backing for that song below but it's proving difficult so I'll probably forget it, for now at least.

Creating something and implementing that creation are very different, yet I seem to only want to do both at once or neither. With some art forms like films, the creation part takes hardly any time, but making the thing will take years. I can write lots of songs on paper in one day, but recording just one takes many days, so I wonder; is it better to spend time inventing ideas on paper while I've got an active mind? Or spend longer getting the results just right, making a small number of beautifully finished things? I tend to lean towards the former at the moment.

Any artist working in a "slow" format needs to answer those questions. Commercial artists often use market forces to answer. But what if the art is the most important thing? Would it have been better if Leonardo da Vinci had painted more finished paintings at the expense of the designs for inventions he could never have built?


John Salmon said...

I understand where you are coming form here Mark and it is something that has plagued me for years.

I like to think I'm creative because I have creative ideas and the formulation and working-out of ideas within my head is the part that gives me the most pleasure and satisfaction.

I can mentally imagine myself turning that initial idea into a drawing, painting or "thing" but once I have imagined it (or mentally worked it through) there is no longer any impetus to actually do it.

The enjoyable bit has passed and all that is left is the hard work to realise the idea in a tangible form for someone else to enjoy.

This may be why I enjoy watercolour. There are so many variables that can come into play, be they technical, climate, material and mental that you just do not know what will transpire.

Although a lot of the paintings I sell are similar (people love water and trees) I start with no fixed idea and wait until something (happy accident) happens that allows me to push the painting in a certain direction.

If I had to start with an idea that I had preplanned and mentally worked through, the impetus would have gone and I wouldn't enjoy doing it and it would show in the painting. Hope all that makes sense?

Mark Sheeky said...

Yes I understand absolutely it's the same with me. In many ways I do not enjoy the actual painting process at all, and a lot of people find that amazing. I find it to be a hard slog, definately a job not a pleasure. The tiring work aspect of putting in a long day of perfectionism, is ironically my favourite bit of the painting because it gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction, and feels every bit as good physically as a good workout.

But, like you the creative few minutes, the rush of the idea, the discovery of something "new", is the most pleasurable part. Also, like you I never stick 100% to any plan and often invent little bits when it comes to the actual painting. I think it is important artistically to do that... and perhaps that bit IS fun, if I permit myself to admit it!