Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Here is a photo of my latest artwork in progress. You can see that I sometimes begin by collecting images from various sources and assembling them into a collage. In this case, seven different sources. The collage on the left is the source for the drawing on the right.

At first the choices are random, but sometimes a theme emerges. In this case, I had been trying to reread Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky. This is a book that I don't understand very much of. What I do understand of it I don't even necessarily agree with.

However, what I was thinking about while I made this artwork is that you often hear someone say, "I used to enjoy making art but I stopped because I wasn't making any money." I think this is tragic, and I think there are other reasons for making art than just for financial profit. Many times that is the first thing someone will ask an artist: "Are you able to make money doing this?" What I was thinking about while I drew this is that often the ancient people created art with spiritual motivations. I wanted to contrast examples of this with some kind of imagery that shouted "Art for Money!"

Kandinsky contrasted the spiritual artist with the materialistic one. I decided Mr. Materialistic would be drawn superimposed over ads for artists that appealed to speed in creating art for financial gain. By no means am I against commercial art! I just felt like making a statement about my own reflections on artistic motivations.

To get the right shape, my classroom window became a makeshift light box. By turning off the light in my room, the hall light made it possible for me to trace the shape I needed.

I pasted the ads down over part of the drawing paper. Now I was reading to add color to Mr. Materialism.
I wanted the ads to be seen with varying degrees of obscurity -- just barely readable in some places. This had to become a mixed media piece since colored pencil didn't do the job.

Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Mixed Media (Colored Pencil & Acrylic)

The drawing above is the finished work. Unfortunately, the photograph didn't turn out as well as I hoped.

As I said, Kandinsky's book is hard to read -- though it does have some good ideas to ponder. A better one on art and spirituality that has inspired me is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

1 comment:

Wayne Beeman said...

Very deep. I see a lot of thought went into this project. I think the final piece is wonderful.
Enjoyed reading and watching the progress of this work.