I had a feeling
…Or, art is an experience of resonating
What exactly is a feeling?
Isn’t it funny that we all seem to know what feelings are, but can you really pinpoint one? Like a color, there is no particular reason to believe two people are having the same experience named by a certain term.
Yet, for all that ownership of our private emotions, some of them can sure be scary. Why, if no one else is inside our head to insist that we feel a certain way, can’t we just change it?
You can’t change a feeling directly, because you can’t unfeel. But you can transmute it by feeling it openly, with more curiosity than judgment, giving it the time it needs in the light of day.
Some people are so good at this. I only learned the skill a few months ago by trial of fire. Luckily I had just bought a big, fat notebook to start doing Morning Pages.
You have probably heard of Morning Pages, a technique by the trailblazer of creative process, Julia Cameron in her famous book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.
Basically, you write 3 pages every morning. No matter what. No matter what about.
Amazing things happen inside of you.
I found that out for myself, having had nothing better to write about than this humongous, uncontrollable shame that had come up in response to a sharp criticism I received. I wrote and wrote, and then collapsed into bed. (Okay, I didn’t wait for morning to do my Pages.)
I woke up at dawn and jumped out of bed, feeling like the sun was rising in my aura with birds singing in my head and a million bucks in my pocket.
Since then, I’ve become quite practiced at diving right into my feelings. It’s the first thing I do when they come up, which is so weird and wonderful compared to my previous procedure of shoving them into a burlap sack and praying they don’t make a peep when the inspector comes around.
Art is a experience of resonating
Art, like Morning Pages, can be a transmuting process. Luckily. More on that in a future post.
I tell my students that what you feel goes into your painting and can be felt by the viewer. So, be easy. Allow the paint to speak, rather than forcing it.
I think that’s why we love the work of a master. It feels so easy — and masterful! We resonate to these exquisite feelings!
Looking at an artwork is an experience of resonating.
“How does an artwork make you feel as you take the trip through it with your eyes?”
This simple question, from my free ebook, How to Bring Your Abstract Art to Life, speaks volumes about why people buy art.
If you’re an abstract painter and you wonder why one of your paintings sold and another didn’t, look no further for the answer.
So, about my ebook
Have you read it yet? Perhaps it, like abstract art, is deceptively easy. There’s a lot packed into its simple language.
Let me know what you think. And, if you incorporate the ideas into your artmaking I’d love to hear your stories.