“Art washes from the Soul the Dust of Everyday Life” – Pablo Picasso
Unsettled skies brushed the darkness as I crested the rim trail. The aching in my lungs and legs begins to recede as I cautiously make my way across the rocks and roots of trees, my headlamp steadily focused just in front of my next steps. Soon I arrive at a special spit of rock providing the expansive view I visualized. The abrupt drop-off is masked in near darkness so I cautiously gather my gear together and assure all is proper and clean. I begin my wait as nautical twilight slowly gathers strength.
Sitting under the waning stars I dreamily reflect on the progress in the development of my art. I consider how to create and develop these expressions of an experience like today’s that I find difficult or unable to characterize using any descriptive words of the English language.
Considerations of how the elements, shapes, forms and visual connotations of a creative inspiration are composed and within this composition how it is imbued with a particular expression of my “felt life” experiences and how this might be brought forth to intended viewers.
Nautical twilight evolves to civil and I can now work to properly place the tripod safely but on the near edge of the cliff face. I adjust the settings to extract a test image and wait to view the results and, once examined, I ‘m pleased with my technical settings and begin to ponder the composition before me. Often aspiring to express life’s feelings, instincts or expressions, not necessarily that which I am experiencing, but how I feel about the composition and my desire to “project” that essence into the image before me as well as impart my vision of the finished art work. Thus I develop this intention as the luminance slowly gathers allowing time for compositional analysis and slight adjustments as I continue my quest of perfect light and achieving proper intention.
Doing this, I begin questioning myself as each composition is exacted from within my “being”. I consider what is the nature of this particular essence before me? Is it a singular essence within the composition or are there others? If so, which essence is dominant and do the others enhance or detract? Ruminations of conclusions develop my approach.
Now luminance and radiance nears optimum impact and I turn all thoughts towards assuring the captures are exact and minor corrections made as luminance increases delicately. I am totally absorbed. Time passes as I observe the tonal gradations, colorations, shadowing and reflective subtleties peak and begin to wane. I slowly resolve myself back to external consciousness and presently begin to pack up for my descent.
Basking in the flow of this morning, I hike reflectively having had considerable internal deliberations, haltingly, over much of my life’s span, conceiving elemental thought and, often times, evolving sudden bursts of revelations that assist in advancing my artistic awareness.
Descending the trail I continue an awareness of contemplative scenes within the forest and often stop to get better “in the moment” with several. Standing before one of these I begin again to wonder ow it is that I visualize feelings, emotions, instincts, “felt life”, abstractions, equivalence, and clarity of thought, nuances, connotations, and the like when the use of verbal language lacks the capacity to convey my subjective characteristics and the crux and meanings of these facets of life?
A sense unfolds that this is a larger, often indescribable, aspect of art. My instinct advances that our language was developed so many centuries ago and how it has evolved continually to encompass ever more words to describe our world and often these were created as analogies and metaphors initially until, over time, they were “seasoned” into the terminology they represent today. I grasp that my visual world is akin to other cutting edge philosophies such as biology, artificial intelligence, and such in their own pursuits of characterizations.
So how have these thoughts advanced? How do I convey some form of descriptive insights to these? Do I use metaphors or analogies?
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
— T.S. Eliot
Finally reaching the parking lot, I load up for the long drive home. Pulling out onto the state route, the day crystallizes in my mind. Another Technicolor moment in a black and white world. (per Bear)
Driving along, I reflect and begin to think of the processes required to bring the morning’s expression into physicality.
Thoughts drift along as I continue the earlier ponderings. Art is “expressive”, a language term that goes some distance towards “crystallizing” my experiences. My mind develops personal symbols as descriptions instead of verbal definitions that lack the ability to convey the meaning. This paradox into the abstract nature of truth, of value, of beauty and striving to furnish distinct interpretation require that the symbolic representation is necessary to instill this sense of meaning. Possibly, like language, over time we will imbue new meaning to these symbols and into better sensation descriptives. Yet I have doubts and so many questions……
Weary, I at last arrive home.