Wednesday, April 07, 2010

smelling the flowers risks a bee stung nose

I walk past them every day, the flowers.
every color calls to me, every form.
I take pictures and sketch them, I invent new ones,
the ideas come so fast and I can see them printed on everything.
Then I get mad, I can't do them justice, I can't capture what I see.

I don't really do flowers but in order to do them I must bend over and stick my nose into one flower.

It's my personal dilemma, having art in me but not spending the time on the means of expression. I have surveyed many art softwares and fumbled with my digital pen and pad. It is now time to commit to the art process.

You have to laugh, it is sort of like the movie Karate Kid, Mr. Miagi gets the kid to clean the house, the car and the the boy wants to kick butt. You have to train your body in a kind of language. You have to let the media train you before you can bend, stretch and alter the media. How the brush is loaded with paint, how it applied with your movements, how it feels and looks. It is the same with digital art. You learn the interface, the tools, the effects, all in an interactive "play".

The hardest thing for me is accepting that the process is slower than how I think. I just conceive the idea, record it in my sketchbook and I am done. I need to take the time to develop the idea via the process. You get a busy life, a sketchbook becomes a convenient way to keep the creative juices flowing between circumstances. It also become a pit. For an artist's main expression to be his sketchbook is not productive at all. It is not the number of ideas to fill up a sketchbook, but the completeness of each idea.

Like kids you gave birth to, now you got to raise them up. You get a great idea, you need to give it time to develop and mature with you.
To me I've always had the art viewers mind. There is a kind of excitement to roam a museum or gallery and oogle till my eyes are bloodshot. The actual work an artist does is really work the viewer doesn't appreciate. Time spent till the tools and techniques are transparent and fluid and the experimenting and risking and the great accidents and the flubs, these are mostly hidden. Well, what about performance art? Even there, a big part of the process you don't see is the prep. An artist does the process.

You got a big red nose because you stopped, bent over and stuck your nose in the flower and got stung. You smelled the aroma, got a little dust on your cheek. You looked the bee right in the eye as he buzzed madly, "don't poke your nose into my business!" You yell, then laugh, embarrassed but with a satisfying grin.The neighbors snicker, " that'll learn ya", I wouldn't have done that!", "serves ya right!".

To be an artist is to stop and actually smell the flowers everybody talks about. To be an artist is not without risk, so hold your big red nose in high esteem and open display.

2 comments:

Ann Flower said...

Beautiful flowers are One of the best things to me is nature. That is why I believe that I enjoy flowers so much. Flowers, with all of their wonderful scents.

rnojonson said...

Yes, to see them at a distance is one thing, to be able to nose up is another. Time seems to slow down as your senses take it all in. If an artist tries to capture that depth of the moment, not so easy, but also not impossible.

I use flowers as a metaphor for graphics software. Most are wonderful tools that do incredible things. You can't do them all, must select a few you can work with and get your nose down into them. You might appreciate roses over daffodils, Photoshop over GIMP, whatever you like it's secrets will be revealed to you. Then the processes and techniques become transparent (easy for you) the real flowers come out, with your colors and your shapes and your smells.