Whatever you put in is what will come out, recycled as something else.

Pat HarveyUnframedFor instance, I wonder about using music with lyrics as a “background” for painting.  Personally, I use instrumental music.  If I hear lyrics it activates my left brain, which tends to think of things and ideas.  It has opinions.  It argues about right and wrong.  Yes, the left brain is the poet but it can also be the critic.  And who needs a critic in the middle of the delicate dance of bringing something new into being?

True at some point in the process the idea IS the most important aspect.  Usually at the point of conception, in the sketch book, as we delicately cull our dreams into something like a picture or a book.  Ultimately, it is the most important element in a work of art.  What is the painting saying about life, etc.?  But when it comes to the act of perceiving, translating what you see into accurate shapes that are connected to one another, I have found another force in play.  This is more to do with abstraction of things, than the meaning of them.

Contemplating the meaning of a flower, while trying to ascertain the individual shapes, values and edges that make it appear as a flower, is more of a distraction.  That’s what I think.  My student, Sherry, says she likes the groove of a lyric to keep her left brain occupied, so she can focus on the activities of her right brain.  Ultimately, that should be the goal of what you put into your mind, while creating.  Does the music, the structures, the colors, the time frame, etc., occupy your left brain in a way that allows your right brain to do it’s job without being harassed?

What’s your preference when you are creating?


If you like/don’t like the ideas expressed in these blogs, I encourage you to comment.  Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today.  Don’t forget to check out  The Portrait – a painting video  and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.

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