Artist as Genesis

The Artist as Genesis

The beginning of Art as Genesis.

I struggled for years trying to come up with a process that I could apply each time I began a new painting.  Before I made this list, I would start differently each time and end up going around in circles. I was more concerned with finishing a painting than beginning one.Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the end, or finish of a painting was in the beginning.As strange as it may sound the words of Artist as Genesis came to mind.

“In the beginning, god created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless, and empty, and darkness was on the surface of the deep”

I decided to change it a bit and wrote it down this way:

In the beginning the artist decided to create heaven on a canvas.  The canvas was formless and empty, only darkness began to play in his mind….and with the formless blank canvas he began his work.

Next the artist took a hue and toned the canvas and began to think of the light. He looked upon his world and saw that it was good.  He saw a scene and felt its presence and began to find the light.

Slowly he made decisions about the placement of the light and knew that it was there only in relation to the darkness. It was merely a matter of seeing the areas of contrast.  And for a while the artist stood and pondered what could be.

Soon the idea began to take form. A new world was in the making. It came out of formless thought and grew into a divine idea.

Then a light shape appeared as if from nowhere. It surrounded a tree and ran up the side of a house.  The house took shape as the light moved along the edge. The outer edge of the canvas became the outer bound of the shape and it was good. Before long other shapes began to emerge. Some were small. Some were narrow. Some were dark.  And some werethin. There were no curves in the shapes. All lines were straight. All edges were sharp. And the picture that was formed by these lines was good.

But the shapes that did not seem to fit together in the way that he hard imagined they would.  So the artist moved the shapes around to make them feel right.  The outer edge of the canvas was made wide and the height was made narrow.

The scene became a horizontal shape and that was better.   All through the afternoon the artist transfixed by the beauty of the scene worked to make it the image that was in his mind.  And by the end of the day the work was good.  And he went home and slept and had a beautiful dream.

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