Answering The Creative Urge

"Fragments of an Idea"
watercolor, 22 x 30 inches
I enjoy doodling. That is sitting and mindlessly pushing a pencil to create little visual thoughts. I think many people doodle unconsciously . . .like when they are in conversation on the phone. There just doesn’t *seem* to be any artistic direction happening there. Or, does there?

My opinion is that doodles are often ideas trying to be expressed. It might be the subconscious trying to tell the conscious mind that there is something afoot . . . an idea is brewing. So, why don’t more artists consider those ideas as something to develop on canvas or paper?

Returning from a trip last weekend, I sat in front of the TV and discovered an urgent need to have a pencil and paper in my hands. Grabbing a scratch pad and pen, I started doodling. Soon, I was playing with flat shapes . . . .overlapping them, shading them, stacking them . . . .just fiddling with no intent other than to see what showed up.

The next thing I knew was one was speaking to me with “paint me!” written all over it. So I began it. For three days I have worked on this piece to develop it at the easel. With nothing to look at other than the doodle, the mental gymnastics ensued. One finds quickly what design concerns are when confronted with working out a non objective painting . . .and why it is soooo important to understand the ins and outs of sound design.

The very issues that tease us artists in making ANY painting of ANY subject successful come quickly to confront the artist in non objective work. Whether a subject is realistic or not, how it fits into the rectangle, how all the parts relate or conflict and how the eye works through the piece are only parts of the whole puzzle in any painting. Non objective work gives the artist no hints. It all has to come from the thoughts and intuition of the artist. It is mental exercise of very high order. Whether this one fails or succeeds, what counts is the strengthening of creative muscles through the exercise and answering the creative urge.

No monkey or kindergartener could do this, regardless of what some uninformed lay people might think or say.

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