Daylight is too easy. What I want is difficult: the atmosphere of lamps or moonlight.”~ Edgar Degas (source)
A measure of light. Most of my work as an artist deals with light qualities and properties of light. Its influence on the subject matter or work depends on the media used, whether an illuminated screen, projected, or printed on a substrate. The quality of light, the white balance whether sunlight, tungsten, or flame figures in the piece. The effects that it produces such as the colors, values, and tones affect the eventual meaning of the work. All of lights properties are considered even those that are outside of the spectrum that the human eye can observe. I can measure it and use it to obscure, illuminate, cast in shadow. I use it as metaphor or fact.
Currently I am studying how light is referred to and is use in the talking about the spiritual realm. I hope that study and its conclusions will eventually present itself in my work as well.
Our old experiences, memories and fears guide us down the present path. It’s not so much that you are the artist; you are the conduit.” ~ Nick Bantock (source)
For my students, fellow artist, and myself, it is more about the recognition of what we do more and how to explain it rather than how we come by it. Most of my students come to me and I realize that this “art thing” needs less to be taught, but rather the educator needs to create a space where the student/artist can see and understand how to explain the patterns that are seen by the public. For the gift that they bring into the classroom is frequently seen as a natural state of being. It is most frequently accompanied with humility, so the desire to explain the process or the composition is often overlooked and it is assumed to be understood by all. So when the artist is asked to explain their work, it can’t be done.
The process of art allows us to be that path or conduit and what we see and understand often cannot stand on its own to be understood. It is our task to create that bridge.
Quakers should enter the world of the arts with humility and courage: courage because it is a risk of our certainties. A religion unwilling to take risks shuts out what is creative. Preoccupation with moral integrity is likely to assume that life can be tidied up: that is its goal. In fact, it is because life is essentially untidy that it can be creative.” ~ Kenneth Barnes, 1983 (source)
Laying yourself bare… Art for art’s sake… Do I make art for myself or the greater community? Is art that is left in a closet art? I know these all are silly questions but questions that are posed each and every day and it is how we deal with these questions and comments that allow us either to continue to create or convinces us to stop and surrender and mute ourselves forever.
It is my belief just as with Quaker worship, art serves the purpose of opening a pathway to the Light within, Higher Power, or God. Just as Quaker ministry takes courage to open the channel to the Spark that exist within… Allowing the still silent voice to come forth in one’s art takes as much courage because when one is able to articulate and express yourself using the material, visuals, words, and music, you are allowing your ministry to be weighed. It may only be meant for you, it might be meant for the masses, or only those that can hear it because they possess an open heart.
Whatever the case, seek your Light from within… Take courage… For all we are asked is to walk humbly, act justly, and love deeply. One never knows… who is listening even if it is just you.
Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” ~ Albert Camus, (source)
Expressing one’s self is always risky. That’s the risk. You’ll be happier. Only took me twenty-eight years to figure that out. Have fun and create and find yourself. Search for your light and that silent voice. Art may provide you the path to find that connection.