People who know us best can help us the most.
There are many pictures online and in the shops here in Bend, OR, and we can enjoy looking at them, but getting together as informed artists and discussing those pictures and comparing them to our own helps us discover what is inside of those images and inside our own self. By exploring those images with other people and especially with artists who are seeing and feeling what we ourselves see and feel, because we are friends and we know each other’s goals, we can delve much deeper into our own experiences and needs. When we explore together we become better at seeing what is there before our eyes and better at seeing what is inside of ourselves to be found.
We are unknowingly immersed within a visual culture as much as the Mayan and Aztec artists were into their local visions, as much as the Ancient Egyptian, or Renaissance Florentine, or the f-64 photographers were into theirs. Ours is different, but we don’t know exactly what it is. When we begin searching for our own soul response to discovery, when we pursue the serendipity of those random discoveries and reveal them to ourselves, and then to each other and ultimately to the world is when we discover what our culture is really about.
Nearly everyone will choose to sleep; it’s much more comfortable.
That is the direction which it is imperative we go in if we want to discover our own personal innermost being, our group’s being and our whole society’s essence. We can easily ignore all this search as being outside of our daily interests, and nearly everyone will chose that path, but a precious few will need to explore the limits of our personal reality and realize the essence of what our culture has to offer, but it will be at the periphery of current vision. It isn’t obvious but if it is pursued vigorously we can break through it into our own new worlds. Probably the only way to do that is within a group of similarly motivated people. However, if we do choose to ignore this quest, we are willfully saying that we are neither interested in who we are nor are we interested in the world which surrounds us. To not go on the quest is to proclaim that we are comfortable in our own skins and the world around us should be frozen solid as it presently exists. We would be saying, please don’t bother us, life is just fine the way it is, and we are contented to be happily sleeping our life away. But, look around our little city for a moment and it is easy to see that there are many people who have considerable talent. Unfortunately, that talent isn’t being used with much passion to find our true nature. The reason is simple. These people, these artists don’t have other people who are appreciating the vision they are exploring, and so they don’t push on with it very far or very exuberantly because there isn’t a unified passion of exploration. We need to have others who understand what it is that is being pursued, and that requires for these other people to have an invested interest in what these researchers are questing after, and to maintain that interest over a sufficiently sustained period to grasp the essence of the vision and criticize the essence. That profound criticism requires knowing what is being quested after.
What the public sees. What the compatriot critiques.
The public person may see a completed work and know that something revelatory is there, but only the insiders to the creator’s intention of that special something will know what is behind it and be able to say the right things to stimulate further growth. That is why we need a coherent group. We can each go our separate ways, but we need others whom we know and trust and whose opinions we value to guide and stimulate us to search the limits and reveal our personal and our group’s soul.
Art is created for the artist’s friends. Great art is for God alone.