Time and Mystery

A few people I have brought to my studio lately seem to want to know exactly how much time it takes to create each individual piece of my latest series, as if it were easy to crank out original art and it’s just a matter of time.  All I can say is that if it looks like it was done spontaneously and in only a few minutes, then I have achieved one of my objectives which is that of  showing immediacy in the artwork.  Everything about the process of my painting should be visible and on display without narrative.  But getting back to the time dedicated to each piece… should I say it has taken a lifetime to create a particular work of art? After all, I have spent my whole life in some way leading up to these pieces – it wouldn’t be a lie exactly. Of course it wouldn’t be exactly truthful either. There obviously is much to the process of creating art that doesn’t directly figure in actually making the art manifest. Should time spent conceiving the piece count? Should time spent pausing to look and consider a next step count? Should preparatory drawings or the taking of reference photographs count? Should time spent mixing colors or cleaning brushes? How about framing – does consideration of display options count? I think it’s obvious that taking accurate measure of the exact time devoted to any one piece of artwork before it is exhibited is difficult if not impossible to establish.  I am hoping my latest pieces appear like they were created impulsively and look innocent in approach but the actual process is significantly more sophisticated and studied.  No sane artist could or should try to explain to a viewer all the minutia that contributes to a piece. Every artist needs to reserve a little mystery for their creativity.  Artwork born from time in the creative process is a luxury that should not require explanation.

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