Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What drives you to creation?

What drives you to creation? Just what is that itch that must be scratched?

What drives you to pick up your brush, to dip your fingers into the paint and start marking that blank canvas? To scrape a knife across the surface of tacky oil paint. Is it the medium, the gooey texture - slippery or sticky, or thin and delicate. Is it the smell? The feel of the tools in your hands, the paint on your fingers, the hard swatches of it drying on your clothes. Are you moved by the full, thick brushes, perfectly maintained. The tubes lined up in order on your work bench - chromological of course. The jar of special favourites, clagged up, hard edged, paint spatted stubs of brushes - not so perfectly maintained. The twiggy sticks, rollers or scraps of lacy fabric that you use to mark the surface. The bubble wrap, the feathers, the bird bones, the twine and the seaweed.

Is it collaboration that wags your tail? The thrill of bouncing ideas off arty minds - seeing those ideas grow wings and fly away. Sharing their wild and crazy madness where they will. I'm pretty new to collaboration but I can see that it has the power to hold me. Possibly forever. It might just be a never ending adventure.

Maybe it's the unique happy place that you go to when you sing with other people. When you find those angelic harmonies that hover about your head, and you try to hold them there.

Maybe it is that intense and highly personal relationship with your hands and fingers that is part of the textile territory. Crotcheting close to the heart - small and close and personal.

Maybe you find out who you are when you beat metal, heat its points in a small cokey fire, then beat it, pull it, twist it, turn it, till it becomes your own. Forged by your own hand, driven by your vision. That's strong stuff.

Making something from nothing.

Making something of power and beauty from nothing.

I love painting. I love getting lost in the process. I love the difficulties inherent in exploring knotty issues through abstraction. Teasing them out and looking at what is there. I love the complex simplicity that is necessary in abstraction. I am inspired and stimulated by people's thoughts and ideas. By inventions and discoveries. By rituals and customs. I think I am trying to understand the world and my place in it better through looking at how all those ideas fit together, or how they don't fit together. By turning them over and over, looking at them from all angles, taking them apart, putting them back in different ways.

By trying to understand them from an artist's perspective.  I think that is what drives me to creation.

What is it for you?

4 comments:

Red Tractor Art said...

oh your words are so good.
and I am out of words.
my brain is spent.
but i can say this...

what I like best is coming up with an idea that makes artists laugh. then be inspired enough to go away and create something. something good enough to top whatever I had in my mind in the first place.

Deborah Milligan said...

Ahh ... That urge to go further, be better, do more than you have done before. Yes, that's certainly an addictive one! Thanks for your comment, you inventive collaborator you!

Jo Grant said...

'Driving' drives me to creation (that is, when I'm driving I get my best ideas!).

Deborah Milligan said...

ha! that's hilarious. Yes, there is something about the wide open road and space to think. Thanks Jo.