The light of the recent full moon in Scorpio was piercing, penetrating. In the wee small hours aspects of my own psychology were revealed to me. The cold, hard facts were laid out so I could not help but see them. At 3am while searing white light found the chinks and gaps in my bedroom curtains I lay awake thinking things through.
One of those things I thought about was this blog. It could so easily meander off into the same direction as my old blog. It is already showing a tendency to become no more than a way of filling in time when I’m bored and/or a place to vent about life’s petty trials and tribulations. Having blogged that way on ‘Art and Life’ for several years I know how frustrated I get with that. The blog becomes a rambling collection of good, bad and indifferent creative efforts that, more often than not, arbitrarily change direction frequently in response to other people’s blog challenges.
I started this blog in an attempt to be more focused. If I want to keep doing it I need to decide now to refine the focus or I resign myself to repeating the patterns that ultimately lead to death by inconsequentiality.
Part of the problem I’m having with this blog is the stated intention. The idea of working with words and images and exploring how they work together is leading me into new directions. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading about Basho, haibun and haiga. That led me into a deeper investigation of haiku and Zen Buddhism.
From there I went into reading about how the Buddhist concept of emptiness is reflected in Chinese and Japanese ink brush painting.
In a landscape painting empty space often indicates cloud, mist, sky, water or smoke,
partly depending on the suggestions that the solid forms supply. Nonetheless, the
real mystery of the emptiness is that empty space refers to qi (chi),
a cosmological term which is formless, but bestows life to Chinese painting http://www.heweimin.org/Texts/mystery_of_empty_space.pdf
Li Shi (李氏)12thC Imaginary tour through Xiao-xiang
I then began exploring how the mid 20th century American painters Ad Reinhardt was influenced by Chinese painting, voids and emptiness. At the same time I took a detour into reading and thinking about haiku, haiga and landscape photography.
Haiku and photo by Ron C. Moss https://www.behance.net/gallery/27565659/ron-c-moss-haiku-and-photography
Looking at all this art and thinking about the ideas behind it has made me re-think my approach to incorporating words and images in my own work. In the past I’ve skimmed over ideas, gleaned a broad overview and used that as a launch pad for creative expression. It’s all happened quite quickly and I haven’t thought too deeply about my own processes. Now I’m feeling the urge to slow down, think more deeply and respond in a measured way. All that takes time.
If this blog is going to work for me long term it has to be focused. I have to discipline myself to use it in a methodical way. Probably the best way at present is to use it as a place to reflect on what I’m reading and thinking about. Ultimately my goal is to create work that incorporates images and text but I might need to explore a metaphorical Outer Mongolia before I get there.