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Article Teaser: Have you ever gone too far with a work of art? Do you ever add a bit more of this and a little of that to make it come alive? Knowing when to stop and knowing when it's finished aren't necessarily the same thing in this article.

Keep reading below...

How Simplicity Can Be Perfection

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

Do you ever wonder if you have a perfect work of art in you? You know, when you feel a really juicy inspiration coming over you...

So everything is going along swimmingly. You're in fine form, just painting, carving, or potting up a storm. But then you start to get giddy with pre-success. Maybe you don't even notice when you've crossed the line.

Sort of like at a party, when you're telling a story and don't notice it's time to stop. If you've galloped ahead in making a piece of art, stop the moment you see this happening.

We often get into a kind of losing game of trying to make an image "work" somehow, by adding just a little more of this, or maybe another area of that. When in truth, we've gone way past the thing that doesn't work.

Whipping a dead horse never brought it back to life. Knowing when to stop and knowing when it's finished aren't necessarily the same thing.

Do sculptors have a clearer task of finding the right balance of simplicity? When Michelangelo was asked how he sculpted his statue of David, he was reported to have said : "I just cut away everything that wasn't David."

Sculpting is often a task of taking material away, while painting is a task of adding more and more. So, you need to approach that point of no return with caution. It's a matter of becoming sensitive to the flow of energy, both yours and that of the work.

When you begin a carving, a song, a meal, or a painting, there's one subject or point you have in mind to convey, like a main topic of conversation. A satisfying conversation usually centres around one topic.

But have you ever been involved in a conversation where everyone talked at each other, and no one really listened to anyone else? Each was upstaging the other for attention. Wasn't it hard to listen to? Where did you focus?

There are works of art like this; a cacophony of attention getting objects, and no one centre of focus. A work of art which is made with everything in equal detail is like a conversation with everyone talking at each other, and no one listening to anyone but himself.

A meaningful work of art, like a meaningful conversation has a clear heart connection with a single subject at the start, without pre-conceiving the whole work ahead of time and choking the life out of it.

A clear feeling or response at the start is a key to supporting the whole work throughout it's growth. A living thing has to reveal itself even as it develops, even to the artist. But if nothing seems to be revealing itself, forcing it with false enthusiasm will only make things worse.

The heart doesn't get giddy.

It's the mind that gets jazzed up with its own cleverness. Sometimes it's the busiest of minds which are working hard at covering up something stiller within. If joyous, bounding enthusiasm isn't streaming out of your work in progress, then what's needed isn't more action, but more connection.

Sit with it. Go inside and reflect in the mirror of your heart, what it is you need. The seeming slowness of response is no indication of your work being empty of possibilities. It may very well be a sign of an imminent breakthrough or insight.

But if you're like an anxious parent who pushes her youngster to excel at something before it's ready, you will deny the individual uniqueness of your creation. Even the rhythm of the process of a work of art is highly individual. Feel your own rhythm through your breath and heartbeat. Slow down your eager mind, and help it to listen to the truth of your heart.

A satisfying and effective work of art also has a unique life of its own, separate from you the artist. It can grow, given enough spaciousness to develop naturally. If you see into your work with innocent eyes, you will find what needs to be added sometimes, and more often what needs to be left alone.

It isn't easy, to be simple enough to be good. 'That's easy' doesn't mean the same thing as 'That's simple'.

It's much harder to take away, in painting, than to add. When you arrive at the heart of the work, simply stated, it doesn't look simplistic, but rather uncluttered. That's the goal which isn't simple to reach at all. But you'll know when you really see it, that it is enough - simple perfection.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away," wrote French writer Antoine de St.-Exupery.

All the best to you and your art,

Celeste Varley


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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Internal ID: #4510
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