Monday, August 29, 2011

Three Techniques for Creating Meaningful Art

Living with Faith, 72 x 106 inches, triptych, oil on wood.
©2003 Mary A. Gravelle.
Original is available. Contact me NOW!
Are you creating art that is meaningful to you? Or has your art making become dry, cold, and lifeless?

By meaningful, do we mean to the artist or to the viewer? Creating meaningful art, to me, means that I create art that is meaningful to me. I can only hope, that by creating art that is personally gratifying this will in turn be meaningful to someone else.

So, how does an artist go about creating meaningful art? I think that if the artist finds a heartfelt connection to something and creates from that perspective, this will indeed create a work of art that is meaningful to the creator. If a work of art is created from the heart, love energy will be implicit in the final creation. In turn someone looking at the work of art will feel this love energy.

As an artist, how do you find subject matter that is meaningful? Is the subject matter really important? Or do you create from feelings? Maybe the art materials used are themselves inspiring and meaningful to you.

Here are three techniques that will serve as beginning inspiration and fodder to instill meaning into your next work of art.

1. Observation
Get out of the studio and into the world. Go for a drive to a new place. Or simply take a walk anywhere. Movement is key. By moving, your eye is awakened and exercised to seeing new sights. Observe everything around you. What do you see that excites you? What are you feeling as you encounter this place? What colors and shapes do you see that are thrilling for you? Does nature bring you a sense of awe and wonder? Does the urban landscape arouse your curiosity? Could you extract any of these observations to be used in your next work of art?

2. Journaling
Journaling is an important way to capture your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Vow to write everyday on what’s happening in your life and what is transpiring over time. This will give you insights into your own life creating material for what is meaningful to you. Use your journal in conjunction with the observation exercise above. There must be something that is happening in your life right now that you could use in some way to create your next meaningful piece of art.

3. Sketchbook
Many artists consider the sketchbook one of the most integral aspects to the creation of their art. Some use it as others use their journal, except they draw what they observe instead of writing about it. I suggest that you do both. Draw what you observe. Then write about your observations noting shapes, colors, content, smell, feelings, and anything else you deem worthy of capturing. Find out if there is something here that can be used in your next creation, if only a small part of it, that could create more meaning to your art.

Do you have ways that you create meaningful art? What does it mean to create a meaningful work of art? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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