Direct the Torch of Your Imagination

If you are NOT subscribed to Robert Genn‘s The Painter’s Keys, I think you are missing a lot. I have been receiving these letters for a number of years, and they provide much inspiration, as well as valuable teaching tips for artists. Here is a case in point:

For visual artists, directing the torch of our imagination is our main art. Art happens when alchemy is found. One, two and multi-step systems modify reality and create what has come to be called “style.” Art without style is yesterday’s laundry. Here’s how to direct (or redirect) the torch:

You need to see your art as a state of becoming. Vigilance and attentive observation during work-in-progress provides the opportunity. The process takes place with individual works, and over a lifetime of trial and error.

We are the clever inventors of ourselves. Opportunities include nuances, conscious and unconscious mannerisms, evidence of unexplainable magic, flinty zips and happenstance gradations, strokes, splodges, slubs, bumps, bubbles and colour changelings. They may be gentle or violent. They may be planned or accidental. They may be lines or they may be patterns. They can be fat or lean, thick or thin. You need to look out for elements that change in front of your eyes, things that become something other than that which they just were. The artist lives by awaiting these events; and they are expected. “Becoming,” said Paul Klee, “is superior to being.”

Doesn’t that make you want to rush to your studio and paint, encouraging a host of splodges, bumps and bubbles to accompany your lean, thick and thin strokes? Throw in colour changelings and accidental patterns, and the torch of your imagination will become a flame thrower !

My torch is fully lit ~ now I’ve passed it on to you.

Above the Blue ~ © Carol Wiebe

This is a double page spread from one of the art journals I am working on. It is done in acrylics, with collage and stitch. There are many splodges, bumps and bubbles on this piece.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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3 Responses to Direct the Torch of Your Imagination

  1. Sharon Fraser says:

    I’d love to see this up close and personal Carol. Even on my computer screen you can feel the glow!

  2. Tammy Vitale says:

    Gorgeous – the kind of art journal I yearn to make myself but have never given myself the space. How wonderful to have something like this to browse through in quiet moments!

  3. carolwiebe says:

    The funny thing is, Sharon and Tammy, that I love making these pages, but am hesitant to write on them. I envision pages with poetry and word plays, but haven’t had the guts to put many words on the pages yet. Once I get the image I like, I am hesitant to mess with it! Here’s a short movie of me trying to get up the nerve.

    Perhaps in my next book I’ll add text to transparent plastic sheets that you can just lay over the painted pages.

    Just kidding, I hope.

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