Thursday, June 08, 2006

Process, Product and Poppies

For Christmas, Pam gave me Life, Paint and Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley, and I’ve just gotten around to reading it now. While the book is inspiring in many ways, I have to disagree with the authors’ belief that you can’t embrace product and process at the same time.
Isn’t product part of the process? For example, I took these photos of my poppies this morning. I could have just left it at that. But they didn’t really reflect what I actually saw. By playing with the images in Photoshop, I was able to get closer to what I’d experienced, and that satisfied me.
What I noticed about the paintings in Life, Paint and Passion is that most of them are quite similar to each other even though different students created them. The authors’ theory is that you must get right down to painting without thinking about it, or else you’re inhibiting your intuition. Makes sense. But then if intuition is an individual quality why do the “products” look so much alike? I can’t help thinking that either consciously or unconsciously Cassou and Cubley must have been pushing for certain results because I see way more variety and individuality expressed in our dollar store challenges. I don’t know how spontaneous each of one of us feels while doing them, but judging from the results, intuition is in full flower.

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