Monday, 20 August 2012

who is it for?

I remember in the early days of writing this blog being very perplexed about who creativity, particularly making paintings, was for. I had a strong instinct that there was something wrong with making paintings with an audience in mind, in the sense of half-consciously trying to please that audience, trying to second-guess what it might like (and buy? and praise you for?). Somehow it seemed imperative that I found my own wind, set my own sail, without looking around me.

This attitude led to people saying, 'Well,  it's the process that's important, isn't it, not the product?' This seemed right in a way, in that there was certainly something important about the doing of it, the act; the texture of paint, the responding in the moment to the marks that appeared. But it also seemed to imply that you'd be quite happy to make a painting and then put it in the bin. And that didn't seem so right.

Another comment was, 'Oh, so you're doing it for yourself, so you don't care if no-one ever sees it. You'd do it anyway'. Well, yes, and no. You do it because somehow you have to, you need to. Not doing it makes your life into a shadow. You're doing it from yourself, to your own vision. But now I see that there's a difference between trying to second-guess or please people, and wanting to share what you do.

On the whole, I don't want to put what I do into the bin. And I don't want to have a workroom getting fuller and fuller of paintings that no-one has ever seen until the teetering pile hits the ceiling. I've witnessed the occurrence of something quiet and strange coming through me, and I want to share it. Creativity seems to me to be a kind of miracle.

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