It's really hard for me to decide at times whether or not I should look for some peaceful zen place bereft of emotion to make my work, or just plunge into my emotions head first, arms open. I can't tell which is the more maddening place to be - or which is more maddening to ignore. It is so hard for me - my mind runs a mile a minute - and the more honest I am in sharing this fact about myself with others, the lonelier I feel. And I find that ironic, because the book I am reading right now claims that emotions are the key to our connection with each other and the most integral components of the universe. And I mean down to its very core - its infinitesimal essence.
Really, everyone should read this book. It's called The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden, (a wonderful suggestion from a new friend.) I am only a few chapters in; it leaves me feeling empowered, yet peaceful with 'whatever happens,' It's so strange. When you think about the fact that you are connected to everything, you realize that you can do anything. Simultaneously, you also recognize that if you chose to do nothing, you are still not left behind because you are continuously still a part of everything. It's very hard for me to write about. I guess I'm still molding the idea around in my head, this abstract entity. I feel like i'm trying to manipulate a cloud with my hands.
I think it's too early to say that I can see a defined series of works about this in my mind just yet. It certainly hasn't made it into my sketchbook - though it has spun my imagination a whirling mass on the train - (oh the rare benefits of an hour long commute...) It has made me think about the way feeling influences discourse in one's artistic practice. It makes me think of a game I used to play when I was trying to get to know new people back in school.
I would start out by asking them to draw me a circle. Simple enough.
Then I'd say "draw me an angry circle." And of course, I'd get the weird look, but if they were cool, they'd roll with it. "Draw me a happy circle, a sad circle.... a nervous circle...a circle in love...etc." And it was always so interesting how people would interpret this opportunity to imbue emotion into a basic shape. Which begs the question, what if one were to draw a circle when they were actually angry? Actually sad? Nervous? In love? Would there be an unconscious influence and a visible effect?
What if I had been angrier when I made a particular painting? What is the difference in projected potential of a series of works made during heartbreak, versus after the fact, in retrospective contemplation over the heartbreak passed? Sometimes I choose to work only when I feel a certain way - based on the piece I'm making. Now that I'm reading a book that tells me my emotions actually physically affect the world around me - it is blowing my mind how this might translate in my creative practice.
In documenting emotion by using emotion, is art, (in the universal sense), the most supremely human thing we can possibly do?
Noelle Raffaele - artist