Friday, May 1, 2015

The sadness, elation and rapture of creativity

The other side of a creative block is like coming up for breath after not realizing you’ve been holding your breath for weeks. It’s the sudden feeling of being able to see beyond obvious detail, beyond what is mundane and ordinary.

It’s like a veil lifting off of the eyes and suddenly you can see colors and values more brilliantly. Today I picked up paintings that have sat unfinished for months and suddenly as if the composition reveals itself like a puzzle giving up its secrets.

After this state of elation and excitement where everything seems possible, there is a sudden rush of ideas. Words are written, more sketches are made, all in memory, underpaintings seem clear and concise with a glimpse of what will soon be a finished work.

And than just as sudden as it begins, the overwhelming state of details as every stroke competes to be next. This is why I tend to work on many paintings at once because if one blacks outs with too much detail I can start or get involved in another. It’s like chasing the last bit of sun in a sunset as the colors lose details as the darkness overwhelms the landscape.

Surprise and elation are quickly replaced with that familiar feeling of doubt, as if any of the creative explosion meant anything or accomplished anything at all.

After this amazing state is the feeling of leaving that moment. It’s like leaving an old friend after missing their company so much it hurts. This is the feeling the creative thrives on, why some go mad, why some struggle with addiction and depression.

There is no greater place or feeling than that moment when creation seems to make sense. One small glimpse at an amazing and cruel gift, we as artists are lucky to borrow even if for just a short time.

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