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Art and Stillness (October 2018)

My art is known for it’s sense of motion. I started painting on a rotating display stand a while ago to add some actually kinetic energy to my composition and brush strokes. However, many of my paintings can move from “kinetic” to frenetic” at times, leave no space for the eye to rest. I am reading a book by Pico Iyler titled, “The Art of Stillness.” (Look him up on Ted Talks). He is challenging our “frenetic” culture of instant messages, unending interruptions to slow down, breath and actually become aware. Early in the book he makes this insightful observation:

“Movement makes richest sense when set within the frame of stillness.”

That sentence stopped me. I began to reflect on my work as an artist, “was my art telling me the I need more stillness within the motion?” “Would my artwork make “richest sense” if the kinetic energy was set within a “frame of stillness.” Using the spiral as a motif in this painting helps a bit, creating a focal point of movement and contrast. But would it be even better with more places to rest like the water. I don’t know. I tend to the let my work speak what ever it wants to. However, I do need to stop, be still and listen more to what it is saying. Painting is a dialog, not a monologue. Listening enables you to create somethings others can hear too as well as see.

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