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Article Teaser: Are you are pulled in two directions at once, needing structure and technique, but longing for a fluid looseness? It can be disorienting, intimidating, and even crippling. There are some balancing tips in this article.

Keep reading below...

Do you flirt with freedom or cling to control?

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

Do you long to make meaningful art with feeling? You might be comfortable making free forms only because you believe you can't make anything look real. Or, you could be well versed in the techniques and principles of art, but hampered by the rules and afraid to tap into your feelings.

I once captured a wounded baby raven which couldn't fly. She had broken one wing on her fledgling flight, and was hopping around and starving. She was taken to a wildlife sanctuary, and after the wing healed, she learned to fly in a big cage. A month later, "Fledge" was released to her waiting family.

Making meaningful art is like learning to fly. An artist and a bird have to exercise both wings equally: the wing of control and the wing of freedom. In order to fly successfully, both wings are necessary in a fluid balance. We need both extremes in making art that holds any feeling.

In creative writing, the two extremes might be: a flat matter of fact style with no adjectives, only short clips, and then hyperbole with flowery descriptions, and exaggerations. Both extremes hide real feelings.

Too much flapping of the control wing in art making and the result feels rigid, exact, lifeless, bogged down. Too much flapping of the freedom wing results in chaos, confusion, pointless noise, numbness.

Funny thing is, they're both illusions!

Control in art making is necessary. You need some structure to start, some direction. In order to communicate with viewers, you have to have something to communicate. Viewers need connection and so does the artist.

Actually, real control isn't possible. Can you control the air you breath? What about gravity? We all know what it is, but we don't know how it works. Explanations about bodies' masses attracting only describes gravity. It doesn't explain it.

So too much control in art, while intending to depict something out there, communicates rigidity instead. We may admire the draftsmanship or exactness of the work. There's a selfish focus in it, because it believes in itself. The feeling it holds is lifeless and sterile.

Is there such a thing as too much freedom in art? Artists who think they are letting it all hang out, and avoiding control, actually emit chaos and confusion. "Anything goes" gives no reason to connect, because this approach begins and ends with me, the artist.

We need a certain freedom in art in order to identify. We're attracted to a certain lovely looseness or lyrical grace which is often called freedom.

Too much freedom in art, while intending a jaunty, devil-may-care attitude, can actually feel uncaring, self-indulgent. Nothing is totally free. Lyrical looseness which goes too far, becomes a dog's breakfast that no viewer wants to clean up.

Flapping too much with any one wing, will drive you in circles around yourself. So why would you need freedom? Why would you need control? What good are the extremes?

We're on the path between control and freedom all the time in making art. Like a bird, we have to keep a fluid balance in order to fly successfully. Too much chaos is the trigger to trim our control a little. Too much rigidity is the signal to loosen up a bit. One wing acts as a check on the other.

Here's a classic Japanese exercise in finding a fluid balance between control and freedom. This is deceptively simple, and very, very challenging.

============================================================

You'll need one plain sheet of paper, and 8 identical dots. The task is to arrange the 8 dots on the paper so that they are aesthetically attractive and interesting: not too symmetrical and not too chaotic. You can leave it sitting on a table and work on it from time to time, like a chess board.

Though we may have some notion of the ideal balance "once and for all" that too would be contrived, controlled. Flight requires continual movement and re-adjustment between these two wings. Sometimes the movement is vigorous and sometimes it is almost still.

When you start a long metal shaft to vibrating, it starts with wide momentum, becoming ever, smaller and smaller, until it appears to stop. But it never does. There is no end. This is called "movement in stillness" in Oriental philosophy; one of those paradoxes of life.

Becoming a more seasoned artist has no end. You can practice it all your life. It's natural to be changing all the time within the spectrum of freedom and control. We experience progressive freedom of - as well as from - the mind.

This is both our task and our gift. You have to be controlled enough to be healthy and free enough to be happy.

To be human is to be blessed with consciousness, as well as instinct; mind as well as heart. Rejoice! Would you have it any other way?


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Hello, I'm Celeste Varley and have been an artist at heart all my life. It is my privilege and passion to help seekers move beyond self-expression, to access the seeds of wholeness within. If you like this article, you may want to see more "Fresh Horses" articles on my website. Check it out and see if it's right for you. http://www.heartsongstudio.com Celeste Varley, Heartsong Studio, Helping the Creative Spirit to Soar.

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Once you've made your first heart-centred drawings, you may wonder how to interpret the results. Here's help in seeing through to the other side of the mirror.

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When some people think of knitting they picture little old grandmas slowly passing the hours away, but not anymore. Knitting is a wonderful hobby that can provide anyone with a plethora of pleasure and relaxation - not to mention adorable blankets, scarves, hats, clothing and more! You can learn to create handmade knits for yourself and for all the people you love with just a little practice and patience.

Decorating With Large BirdCages
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Investing in a large birdcage, especially if you do not have a pet parrot or other large bird, may not have crossed you mind. However, pet birdcages can be used to enhance any room.

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Written by: Celeste Varley | Distributed: 2007-05-03 | Word Count: 848 | Page Views: 3039 | Votes: 8 | Rating: 2.38
The Museum of Modern Art in NY held an exhibit featuring a painting by Renoir. About 140,000 viewers came to admire this work. They all saw the sky, the sea, and the sailboat. But, not one of the 140,000 viewers noticed that the painting was hung upside down. Why not? Because we see what we expect to see. Now I don't know if this story is actually true. I heard it on a TV courtroom drama, but it certainly illustrates a truism. See how clear your vision really is in this article.

Unique Gifts: Are They a Thing of the Past?
Written by: Nicole Maschwitz | Distributed: 2008-05-06 | Word Count: 419 | Page Views: 2467 | Votes: 12 | Rating: 2.33
Lets face it, times have changed long gone are the days of knitting and crocheting. Lets admit it now with the introduction of computers and X box, the next generation is more interested in helping Scratch from Ice Age rather than doing embroidery. In addition, with mass production of goods from China and other countries, unique is becoming more rare.

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The Hard Work Of Becoming Spontaneous
Written by: Celeste Varley | Distributed: 2007-12-26 | Word Count: 799 | Page Views: 2651 | Votes: 13 | Rating: 2.08
Do you toil and sweat over artwork, while envying other artists who seem to just create effortlessly? See if you can find a breath of renewal in this article.

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Written by: Celeste Varley | Distributed: 2007-04-25 | Word Count: 722 | Page Views: 2975 | Votes: 10 | Rating: 2.00
When you're working on a particularly challenging piece of art, do you tend to get tight? Do you sometimes take shallow breaths? If you need a transition from the stress of the rest of your life into art making, there's a way of calming your horses, in this article.

From Potboilers To fame
Written by: Celeste Varley | Distributed: 2007-05-10 | Word Count: 707 | Page Views: 3897 | Votes: 8 | Rating: 2.00
Have you ever toyed with the fantasy of becoming famous with your art? Come on now, buried in your innocent dreams of long ago? If you've decided it only happened long ago to the rare and gifted few, read on for a real life story.












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Internal ID: #4728
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Word Count: 809

Total Views: 2807

Article Rating: 2.22 of 5
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