Creative Meditation #5: Say what?

The Creative Meditation is a new project that has grown out of last year’s “Something Beautiful” initiative. It may happen every day or when the spirit moves me.

Lately (like the last 17 years), I’ve been thinking about what my art communicates. When poetry comes with it (not often, but sometimes) it is more clear to me, though, come on—poetry may give more clues but is hardly a direct insight into my soul. The artist’s statement is a roughly 20 year old modern convention created to communicate the artist’s purpose and give a deeper intellectual experience to viewers. And this has given me pause to wonder about my own statement.

When I started seriously thinking about this, I was in a great creative period. 34 paintings in a summer. To me, the art was a deeply psychological process—a reconnection with my authentic being, a search for beauty, a wrestling match with meaning. For a very long time, my work has been inspired by natural beauty, something that has become increasingly buried by modernity—wires, structures, manmade interjections and impositions. More on that somewhere else at some other time. The point is—for me, art is another language and there are things lost in translation. Again, that left me thinking  about the artist’s statement.

I suspect for some it is a mission statement—a direction some artists need to set for themselves. That is bigger than, more deliberate and advanced than where I am. Maybe too structured for what I would ever aspire to want from my artwork. Today I could write narratives theorizing on the origins of my work —but, the truth is, what I realize right now is that I am engrossed in learning other artistic dialects. In the last two weeks, I have returned to the dialect of design, the concept of biography—depicting individuals with icons of their personal life—intellectual, artistic snapshots with the filter of my interpretation imposed. In preparation to return to an unfinished portrait of my sons begun 17 years ago, I have started to practice with small statements of my own life and what fills and surrounds it. The pen and ink in last post was exercise 1. The watercolor  below is exercise 2. Simple, but the impetus for the thinking. Art adds much more dimension to what I communicate—and much of that is a surprising message to myself.

Autobi0-2-dish still life


About vbassoc

Donna Van Bogaert is a researcher and consultant in the field of cognitive styles, health communication, and organizational communication and behavior. Her business, Van Bogaert & Associates, Inc., specializes in cognitive-based coaching, management consulting, and leadership development. When the winds are blowing her way, she travels and talks about workplace potential and creative problem solving. In another life, Donna sings jazz. For a very long time, she fronted two 18-piece big bands —All That Jazz (Madison, WI) and The Gardenia Big Band (Rockford, IL). She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where, in a third parallel universe, she leads a media branch of a national research institute. Mostly she has returned to painting, poetry, and plotting the next chapter of her life.
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