When you make art you bring into existence something that has not appeared before. It has turned up out of the void and enlarges the universe. This is your unique way of experiencing life, no one else can show the subject the way you do. If the work truly comes from within you feel a sense of fulfillment and completion.
Some of the elements happening in the creative process are:
- The Muse – A feeling of inspiration that walks you through the creative process.
- The Hara – A place within you that feels still and grounded.
- Chi – The energy in you and all things. The spirit of something you are inspired by.
- Resonance – This arises from Chi. It is a faint feeling of recognition between the subject and you. In simple terms, it is when the subject screams at you, “Paint me!”
- The art of expression – ideally, this flows from you to the creation unfettered and unhindered until the work creates itself.
To access the muse, it helps to cultivate a quiet space within yourself. This can be done through quiet restful times gardening, cycling, walking, running, doing housework etc. To me, this is a much better way to meditate than sitting in silence which I find uncomfortable and boring. Thoughts will come, it is best to acknowledge them and let them go allowing your mind to be still if you can.
Chi is spiritual and physical power and it fills the universe. A lifeless work of art, is a work without chi or spirit. Chi is engaged through your intuition, not your intellect. It helps to ask yourself, “What chi or energy does this subject radiate”? Once you experience that chi, a resonance develops.
Resonance is a coupling of two vibrational frequencies, and in this case between you and the subject. Only then are you able to commence the expression of your art.
Lastly, you may want to edit your work by removing the unnecessary elements. A Zen aesthetic is one of simplicity and peacefulness. By erasing the extras you get down to the essence of what you intended to say.
The last step is to express gratitude for the subject and the resonance it has provided. You can than let go of the subject, the feelings and the process of what you have created.
The above pen work from my sketchbook is a result of seeing in new ways and a resonance between some trees in the woods and me.
Have you any sketches or stories of when you have had a vibrational connection to something you have drawn/painted? What made you choose it? Did you feel a sense of fulfillment and delight after you created the work? Do you consider the work to have chi?