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Thread: How a groove becomes a rut.

  1. #1

    How a groove becomes a rut.

    I'd like to share a discussion from oil painting class today. The students all have projects for the next two months, and the theme this time is changing plans.

    Whenever an idea comes, a vision for a creative project, or a period of harmonious work, it usually comes with an end result in mind, and a basic roadmap for how to get there. A painting can appear in the mind's eye very vivid, and a technique is followed to achieve that result.

    However, if a vision is held too tightly the project will run out of steam, or will become slavish at some point. This is also true with finding a groove... where there is inspiration, confidence, and high skill. A groove will have a beginning, it will peak, and it will either fizzle or also become slavish. There is always an arc, and what we have been working with this session is how have an idea, believe in it, act on it, and at the same time be willing to let go of it, before it takes you down with it. This way the painter is always riding a shifting, evolving, vision of the work at hand.

    This touch-and-go approach can be hard for people who want control, who want to have their palette logically organized, and to have an ordered creative process. It can be like giving into chaos.

    I demonstrated this shifting approach by doing a very detailed and finished painting, then suddenly wiping it away with turps, "annihilating" it, so that only the ghostly image of what was there remained. Then this ghostly image became a very interesting suggestion for something new, and the seed of a painting that could not have been arrived at by other means.

    I have been working on a digital project for a year, and it might take another year or two to complete it. Within this time the basic outline idea has remained, but with that broad outline, the vision has continually died and been reborn, with each vision having its arc. So instead of having fixed form being followed, the process has been a morphing, shifting, evolving vision that is as fresh and inspiring today as it was a year ago. Otherwise such a large and involved project would have ground to a halt.

    I am really enjoying this class, and although a couple of students have had some difficult moments, they are all learning to touch and go. The work is also looking beautiful.



    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat today.
    Last edited by RichardH; 02-07-2017 at 11:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Diego County, California
    Thank you, Daizan. I am often letting the groove drag me down with it!

    Gassho, sat today
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    Thank you Daizan.

    You just gave something to ponder and to sit with

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  4. #4
    Thank you Daizan. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    Thank you Daizan! I love this type of focus on craft.

    It's funny how similar the creation process you describe in terms of an artistic endeavor is to software development. You must have the same flexible mind in programming. The further you delve into a problem, the more intimate it becomes and often times the structure of the code, it's form and sculpting, are completely redone until you have a beautiful and efficient program. It's a beautiful and unending process.

    Gassho,

    Rish
    -sattoday

  6. #6
    Thank you Daizan

    Gassho, Kyotai
    ST
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Thank you Daizan! I love this type of focus on craft.

    It's funny how similar the creation process you describe in terms of an artistic endeavor is to software development. You must have the same flexible mind in programming. The further you delve into a problem, the more intimate it becomes and often times the structure of the code, it's form and sculpting, are completely redone until you have a beautiful and efficient program. It's a beautiful and unending process.

    Gassho,

    Rish
    -sattoday
    It does seem to be the way things go in general doesn't it.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    This way the painter is always riding a shifting, evolving, vision of the work at hand.
    This feels pretty accurate and gave me the vision of surfing a wave which I can relate to. What age/level students do you teach Daizan? High School? University? Sidenote: I'm from just south of Toronto!


    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Thank you Daizan! I love this type of focus on craft.

    It's funny how similar the creation process you describe in terms of an artistic endeavor is to software development. You must have the same flexible mind in programming. The further you delve into a problem, the more intimate it becomes and often times the structure of the code, it's form and sculpting, are completely redone until you have a beautiful and efficient program. It's a beautiful and unending process.

    Gassho,

    Rish
    -sattoday
    Risho, what you say is very neat. I love hearing about different people's processes/processes in different disciplines.

    Thanks for sharing all,

    Gassho,

    Jessie
    ~sat today~

  9. #9
    Hi Jessie. I teach adult students of all abilities. Some are serious about pursuing an art career, some just developing skills, some just exploring, and some people are getting out to have fun with paint and enjoy the classroom energy. The surfing image is a good one. I've never surfed an ocean wave (very much a land animal) but definitely the waves of change. Sometimes the surfing is skillful, sometimes I get hit in the head with the board . But it is all in the mix.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  10. #10
    That's very neat to hear Daizan. I love the variety of students you're teaching. As for the surfing – I couldn't have put it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    Sometimes the surfing is skillful, sometimes I get hit in the head with the board . But it is all in the mix.
    So true.

    Gassho,
    Jessie
    ~sat today~

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