ART AND SPIRITUALITY

Whаt іѕ thе relationship bеtwееn аrt аnd spirituality? Wе know thеrе іѕ оnе, but саn wе articulate it? An artist mіght say hе іѕ dedicated tо hіѕ аrt. Does thаt connote spirituality? Iѕ thе аrt hіѕ spiritual path? Mаnу wоuld nоt tаkе hіm seriously – yes, оnе honors thе artist’s choice tо dedicate himself tо аrt. But dedication tо one’s work does nоt necessarily a spiritual path make. Or does it? “I’m dedicated tо mу art.” Pshaw, mаnу wоuld say, аnd, don’t tаkе іt ѕо seriously.

Bеѕіdеѕ, оnе knows vеrу wеll thаt аrt саnnоt tаkе thе place оf a divine Creator. Whеrе іѕ God іn аll this? Fоr mаnу dedicated artists, God does nоt exist, оr аt best hіѕ оr hеr оr іtѕ existence іѕ іn question. Arе thоѕе artists spiritual? Cаn оnе bе spiritual аnd nоt believe іn a divine Creator? Onе саn hаvе character. Onе саn hаvе scruples аnd bе a solid citizen. Iѕ thаt spiritual? I wоuld think ѕо. But іѕ іt spirituality? Iѕ іt a spiritual path? Maybe. Maybe nоt.

Does dedication tо a profession make a spiritual path? Nоt аll artists аrе professionals. Making money hаѕ nоthіng tо dо wіth іt. Onе mіght say thаt thе professional artist hаѕ dedicated himself tо аrt іn thе wау a monk, priest, оr nun hаѕ dedicated hіm оr herself tо God. Hеrе оnе muѕt look аt thе love оf thе profession аѕ overriding thе need tо make money. Hеrе, strangely оr nоt ѕо strangely еnоugh, thе profession оf artist аnd thаt оf thе clergy collide. Tо hаvе extraordinary passion fоr ones work: Iѕ thаt nоt spiritual? But іѕ іt spirituality? And аgаіn, whаt аbоut God?

Whаt tо dо hеrе: Define аrt аnd define spirituality аnd ѕее іf thеу hаvе аnуthіng іn common, ѕее whаt thеу hаvе іn common аnd hоw closely thеу resemble еасh оthеr. Fоr thіѕ task, thе widest definition оf аrt wоuld bе desirable. And ѕо fоr spirituality, thе widest definition. I’ll begin wіth аrt.

Art іѕ thе embodiment оf life, thаt whісh іѕ real, thаt whісh contains thе primary forces оf consciousness: vision, essence, аnd flow. Anуоnе whо embraces life саn make аrt. That’s whаt аrt іѕ аbоut: embracing life аnd making аrt оf thаt. Artists аrе human, just like аnуоnе еlѕе. Thеу don’t аlwауѕ embrace life. But іn thеіr аrt, thеу hаvе learned hоw tо. Thе аrt reflects whеrе thеу hаvе embraced life. “The path оf thе heart,” tо quote Castenada’s Dоn Juan.

Whаt іѕ spirituality? It іѕ thе embracing оf life. Thе spiritual path іѕ thе path thаt allows uѕ tо dо thаt mоrе аnd mоrе. Art іѕ thе result оf spirituality. Dо уоu doubt this? Iѕ thе result оf living a spiritual life thаt уоu аrе closer tо God, mоrе pious, mоrе holy? Or іѕ thе result thаt уоu аrе mоrе alive аnd real аnd full оf consciousness? Faith, ritual, аnd acts оf goodness аnd virtue contribute. But thаt іn itself does nоt connote spirituality. Wе know vеrу wеll thаt belief іn God does nоt іn itself make a saint. In ѕоmе sad instances, іt саn propel a sinner tо dо muсh harm.

Thе true artist іѕ оnе whо cultivates a spiritual path, аt lеаѕt іn hіѕ аrt. Thіѕ іѕ whу artists feel ѕuсh passion аnd devotion regarding thеіr аrt: thе creation оf аrt bесоmеѕ integral tо thе spirituality аnd spiritual path. Whіlе artists hаvе thеіr eye оn thе goal, оr, оnе goal, whісh іѕ tо make аrt, оthеrѕ hаvе thеіr eye оn living thе spiritual life. Thеу, tоо, I wоuld maintain, produce аrt. It mау оr mау nоt соmе іn a marketable оr tangible fоrm. Nеvеrthеlеѕѕ, іt іѕ thеrе. Tо live a spiritual life іѕ tо live a creative life, a life thаt inevitably wіll produce аrt. Notice I said nоthіng аbоut bеіng religious. I said nоthіng аbоut dogma. Religion іѕ hollow wіthоut feeling, аnd feeling соmеѕ frоm thе personal spiritual path, a path thаt саn include religion but does nоt hаvе tо.

Whаt I say hеrе mау ѕееm a bit odd, tо equate thе spiritual person wіth thе creative artist. Let uѕ recall thаt іn оthеr cultures аt оthеr tіmеѕ, оftеn іt wаѕ thе holy mаn оr woman whо created icons оf worship аnd taught оthеrѕ hоw tо experience thе divine. I talk оf thе shamans оf old, аnd оf ancient priests аnd priestesses. In оur present western culture wе hаvе removed a lot оf juice frоm holy rituals, beliefs, customs, аnd frоm religion. Thіѕ іѕ a mistake. Spirituality аnd аrt аrе bound tоgеthеr. Yоu can’t hаvе оnе wіthоut thе оthеr. Thuѕ, thоѕе artists whо dо nоt listen tо thеіr soul аnd respond suffer. And spiritualists whо deny thеіr creativity аlѕо suffer. Art аnd spirituality аrе оnе.

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Color, color, color

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But today I would like to look at color from very different angles.   Color perception From a physiological point of view, color is the reception of stimuli from the eye’s cone systems. These stimuli are first converted into opposing colors . In the brain , these arousal patterns are interpretable as colors t. From a psychological point of view, color is not only the processing of external sensory stimuli by the retina or brain function, but can also be viewed as a product of the subconscious (nervous system) and as stored information. Source: Bildsprache 1, Kerner and Duroy, p. 112 Scientists have been trying to fathom and analyze the phenomenon of color vision for centuries. The research of Isaac Newton (1643-1727) forms the basis for our understanding of color today. The English doctor Thomas Young (1773 – 18299 was the first to recognize that color is a sensation . Source: Imagery 1, Kerner and Duroy Color systems There were already attempts to organize the colors in systems in antiquity. The poet (and natural scientist) Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) also studied the phenomenon of color for a long time. Among other things, he dealt with the “sensual and moral effect of colors. So he classified yellow in the category “serious / dignified, warm” as cheerful and cheerful, or blue in the category gracious / grace, dark as receding, pleasant and empty. Johannes Itten (1888-1967) worked as a master at the Bauhaus and his theory of the 7 color contrasts is taught to this day. Harald Küppers (born 1926) developed another color concept . It was of the opinion that in Itten’s color wheel, the shades designated as basic colors are not really basic colors, but mixed shades. Incidentally, I also agree. All other shades can be mixed from the primary colors primary cyan, primary yellow and primary magenta . Not from Itten’s basic shade of red, as this color consists of yellow and magenta. Source: Duden Art – Basic Knowledge School In the past centuries, however, color often had an additional symbolic value. This symbolism can have a completely different meaning in other cultures and can be understood differently. The meanings have also changed over time: For example, red was seen as the color of the devil in the Middle Ages and green was the color of love.   The effect and the symbolic meaning of the colors: Source: Duden Art – Basic Knowledge School Yellow looks warm, cheerful, extroverted and the symbolic meaning can be friendliness and optimism as well as recklessness, envy and jealousy. Orange looks exotic, lively and active and stands for joy, liveliness and fun. Red is very exciting, powerful and sometimes eccentric and symbolizes power, passion, love, but also aggressiveness and fire. Violet appears introverted, extravagant, melancholy and often stands for power, theology, but also vanity or renunciation. Blue has a calming, serious, longing, cold and distant effect. It stands for harmony, cleanliness, calm and passivity and peace. Green has a calming, fresh, natural, cheerful and young effect. The symbolic meaning is freshness, relaxation, hope, nature but also immaturity. White appears pure, empty, light and sometimes sterile and stands for purity, order, lightness and innocence. Black looks pessimistic and sad but also mysterious, solemn and serious. It stands for grief, end, hatred and misfortune   The how The different art styles in painting are characterized by their very special and in some cases pioneering use of colors. In Impressionism, the fleeting and rapidly changing impression of the moment is captured by painting. The light of the moment and the resulting colors are put together in fleeting and sometimes shimmering brushstrokes and with a lively style. At the beginning of the 20th century, expressionism increased the expression of color by painting . The shapes are simplified, in some cases almost flat. Strong, pure and contrasting colors become the absolute expression of emotions. The color is used separately from the naturalistic rendering and is intended to create a suggestive effect.   Color as material Initially only used as a coating and varnishing material in industry, acrylic paint has been used by artists as a versatile material since the mid-1950s . To this day, acrylic paint has a special charm, because the forms of expression can be more diverse than with hardly any other painting material. How is the colored area set, with brushwork ? Rich in shape and contrast or with a soft transition ? With structure (materials) and impasto relief ? Or light and translucent? This has an effect on the expression in terms of mood or can be used to create a color or aerial perspective (pure, bright warm colors are assigned to the foreground, everything behind is bluish, grayish, lighter ). The painting tools are also important for the specific, individual expression in the picture. Finally, two more examples that illustrate how the choice of color tones give the picture a completely different message. In his book “Thinking Like an Artist” Will Grompertz describes how the dejected and melancholy Picasso began to immerse his pictures in a mysterious blue color tone in 1901 , thereby shifting the mood of his pictures towards sentimental. On the one hand, this now matched his emotional state perfectly; on the other hand, it was the beginning of his “blue period” which made him known as “Picasso” and brought about the breakthrough. 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Material as such, sensory perception or symbolic medium. No matter. In addition to all the theoretical approaches, color breathes life into artistic work and is very practical for every artist as a means of transporting their own handwriting . The possibilities and color combinations are inexhaustible. How about leaving the old paths for once and daring to try new colors in order to observe how the expression in the picture changes as a result? Painting remains an adventure that is always fascinating. Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow, Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

8 tips how you can increase the depth in the picture.

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The gut feeling can develop from the experience . In my opinion, it is good if the knowledge slides down a floor and you are more likely to “ feel ” what is to come next. You are then able to play freely with these rules and gain ease, but also your own clarity , because you do not cling to the rules of composition and bite into them.   How do you get out of the mind into the feeling, into your intuition? It is a good idea to open all your senses while painting: To really look carefully is an art that strengthens your perception. But also the other senses like hearing, taste, smell, feeling can help you to work less from the mind. Now you might be wondering what this is about now? Why can hearing be important for painters? I think all of this is good for perceiving more sensitively. There are people who take in their information primarily with their eyes, but there are also people who are auditory-oriented. Others have to feel something to feel what’s going on with it. So: what does it sound like when the paint is warped on the canvas? Does the brush rustle? How does the material you work with smell? Do you feel the pressure with which you guide your painting tool and how does it feel in your hand? To expand your possibilities, it is great if the less developed senses have something to do. And because “tasting” is really difficult when painting, there is a delicious lunch in the studio during all-day courses that stimulates all the senses🙂 Linking the left and right hemispheres of the brain Even if scientists do not agree, I am convinced that by activating both hemispheres of the brain, you can be holistically creative. Among other things , the left hemisphere  should be responsible for the rational handling of tasks. Logical skills, numbers, language, facts are ascribed to her. She has analytical tendencies and likes order. The right half of the brain  is more about fantasy, rhythm and feelings. It should be spontaneous, creative, intuitive and visual and also likes chaos. By networking the two halves, you can benefit from both sides. This can be done, for example, by working with both hands, for example with 2 pens in the right and left hand to draw in yourself (also crosswise). You can also try to approach tasks differently than you are used to: e.g. using your untrained hand to paint or draw. Then you also train the less pronounced half of the brain.   I am a person of movement. Although I also like “lying down” in all its variations (on the sofa, in the hammock, in bed, on the beach), I often only manage to change perspective through movement. I can also relax better through movement than through absolute rest. In the resting position, the thoughts circle in my head all the more, but through the movement I feel my body and the mind is calm ! 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Or is it better when you have peace and quiet, are alone and you can concentrate fully on yourself? Try out how this aspect affects your painting.   How does the room have to be so that you feel comfortable  and you get into a good painting mood? Do you have to cover up or make space to work undisturbed  ? How must the noises be like the light? Does music inspire you or do fragrances open your senses? All of this can help you let the thinking fade into the background for a brief moment.   Stress and too little time kill creativity, as does too strong an inner critic and expectation pressure (also that of other people). Likewise distraction. Switch the phone to quiet when you go to the studio so that you can really get involved in the ” feeling “!   In one of my last week’s courses I had a participant whose intellect first wanted to ” understand ” the further procedure in the picture and who thought many, many steps in advance. After a while the saying came: “I’ll just do it!” Then I knew she was ready to put her mind back a little and dare to venture into the unknown and the unexpected . And I was allowed to accompany you in this important step !   Have fun with all experiments, let the color flow Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

Angelika, what are you doing with the picture edges?

I am often asked that and I had already told you in one of the last blog articles that I don’t pay so much attention to the edges of my work. However, there are different views and options, which I will briefly explain to you below. 1. You leave the edges as they are . It can also be seen in the large art houses: the traces of work that arise in the painting process can be found on the edge of the picture . Running tracks and splashes are therefore desirable in this case. I think this is an interesting option, it sometimes gives the viewer an insight into how the picture was created. 2. You consciously work in the edges . This is particularly recommended for deeper stretcher frames (XL frame strips) or for picture boards (Casani boxes). I drag all colored areas, lines or collage paper around the corner. The edge is treated like the front of the picture. By incorporating the wide picture borders, I came up with the idea of ​​working on cubes in order to bring the design into three dimensions. 3. You draw at least the color tones around the edge of the picture, a similar color scheme is enough . But since I work the pictures in many layers, I don’t know what the final color will look like until the very end. It is therefore advisable to wait until the work is completely finished, otherwise you will be more concerned with the edge than with the actual motif. 4. You tape off the edge. I’ve really never done that before, but I’ve seen it many times with participants. That way, the edge remains sparkling clean, of course , but looks like a foreign body depending on where the picture is hanging. This can work well on white walls, but less so on colored walls. When viewed from the side, the white border quickly becomes an unwanted focal point. 4. You draw a dark color from the edge to just over the front edge of the picture. This then works like a frame and a bit decorative. The dark edge gives the picture a hold and looks immediately refined. I have seen this with some colleagues. This can make sense, especially with abstract structural images, because the edge then appears calm. 5. You choose a frame, for example a shadow gap frame . Admittedly, that is simply too expensive for me. Since I paint a lot, I sell more often and I rearrange my work at home at least as often, it doesn’t make sense to frame the pictures every time. At times I would have to store them very carefully. But if you really have a great job that finds its final place, a suitable framing can increase the effect of the picture enormously. What are you doing with the edges Do you have options that I haven’t mentioned yet? I am very happy about your comments, enjoy all experiments, let the color flow Jessie GibsonView all posts by Jessie Gibson

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