Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The artist's high


I've done a little more work on the pup, but still not enough to bring out the texture and colours of the fur to any degree. I'm still laying down colour more or less at this stage.

I haven't intended this to be a detailed drawing, more a sketch, but I'll let it take me where it wants to go. Drawings or paintings seem to find their own direction sometimes without a lot of effort from me. Its like that 'runner's high' that you get when something in you overcomes physical tiredness and pain and it feels as if you could run forever. Art has similar highs and you know when you experienced it.

For me, my brain takes over and pushes everything else to one side. I don't hear noises around you or notice time. My complete being seems to be concentrated at the end of a paintbrush or pencil and the energy and form comes through that medium onto the support. I don't realize I'm even in that space until it stops.

When it stops, it a bit like waking from a deep sleep and it takes a moment to break away from that deep concentration and move back into a world full of interruptions, noise and movement. When I write it down, it sounds very strange and anyone reading it could well think that I'm ready to be committed soon. But I believe I'm not alone and that this same process of complete concentration happens to many others whether artists, writers or other individuals involved in creative production.

What does your artist's high feel like?

9 comments:

"JeanneG" said...

In the 80s when I oil painted in the dining room, I would burn dinner which was cooking only about 10 feet from me. I'd never even realize it because I was in the zone. Nothing else has ever made me thoroughly tune out. I can crochet, read, or anything else and I am aware of my surroundings. But with art, I'm in another zone.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

This is looking gorgeous Jeanette - look forward to seeing how it turns out!!

Cathy Gatland said...

You've described it very well - I thought at one time I would listen to some Audiobooks while I painted - until I got to the end of side one of 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and hadn't heard a single word. I haven't been in that zone for quite a while now.
The puppy is looking wonderful!

Jeanette said...

Its amazing how wrapped up we can get in producing a piece of art isn't it Jeanne? I don't burn dinner, I simply forget about making it to start with! :)

Thanks Karen. I hope to have it finished by the end of the weekend if not before.

Its funny Cathy. I can't listen to music or audio books when I draw, they really annoy me and interrupt my thought process. However, if I'm painting, I can listen to music. I don't do that all the time, but sometimes. Mostly I just draw or paint in silence.

Pat said...

I too experience the zone. I love the pups face starting to emerge from the page. Like when the sculpture starts to chip away the unnecessary rock and a form appears.

Gary Keimig said...

coming along very nice. Love to see it finished.

Chris Beck said...

You describe my experience very well, Jeanette. I usually start my painting time with some classical music, but many times never even notice when the CD comes to an end. As for fixing meals -- forget it!! Ditto for laundry and housecleaning!!

Jo Castillo said...

This is a lovely drawing, looks free and effortless, so I guess the "zone" shows. :)

Being in the zone is a good thing and usually my work is better then. Thanks for putting it in words.

ujwala said...

the portrait of the pup is beautiful. on the zone - once i find something to work on (this takes me the longest time!!!) it is almost instantaneous. i just lose track of time and the ability to concentrate / focus on the task at hand is intense to the point of not being aware of anything else around me. quite often I feel i've been at it for 15-20 mins max. and my husband tells me it's more like 2hrs! time just flies :P i prefer silence while drawing or painting else it takes that additional time to to tune it out and settle down.