Sunday, 26 August 2012

cycles of emergence

I've just noticed a cyclical pattern to the way that ideas seem to emerge. The first example of this was when the Indian gods started appearing.

I was very surprised to see them, and wondered what they thought they were doing. But something pushed it on for a while, until I ended up with this:

I was actually quite pleased with this, but also in some way self-conscious, presumably imagining that 'people', whoever they may be, would think that what I was doing was kitsch, or obvious, or something. Somehow I moved on and started doing something else.

Some months later, after the Discpline of Freedom workshop, I began to properly do a daily practice, one aspect of which involved painting without thought or intention. Within two days I had this image (the one on the left, photographed later...), which suddenly brought the two strands of my past work together. It was combination of two themes (circle vortex) I had been working on on a small scale, suddenly appearing on a much larger one. Somehow it delivered me right back into the lap of my gods.

Recently, this process of an idea trying to emerge and then disappearing happened again. I was working in oils for pretty much the first time (see  below), and getting fascinated by the earthy grounds that were appearing. I wanted to do more, but I remember thinking, 'well, I can't just work on grounds, for goodness sake...'.  I seemed to be working on the inner assumption that I had to be working on 'making paintings' at all times. I've noticed this before, it's like a habit of productivity or something.

It was only when I found a book which I loved, in which I discovered, after I received it through the post, that there was a  lot of focus on making different grounds, that I began to feel that experimenting with different grounds might be a perfectly acceptable thing to be doing.  

I'm not sure if the issue here is to notice how the first appearance of the idea in both cases was walloped by the critic, or whether perhaps what's interesting is that the emergence of a creative theme seems to be cyclical. And that as it cycles round, the volume gets turned up. In these examples, the first appearance of the idea was, in the first case, a few pieces of work which were then abandoned, and in the second place, a thought that was dismissed. Either way, the work on that theme stopped. 

In the case of the first example, the gods only got back in because the process I was following after the workshop had temporarily silenced my mind/critic. In the second case, the thought was forgotten until it was verified by appearing in an external source....

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