Sometimes, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to my art. It’s not to say that I doubt my ability with the materials I use; well, I do that sometimes, too. But really, it’s more to say that my vision when making a piece is often murky at best. My ideas often come from a question I have been mulling over. The question is like a seed of an unknown plant; I bury it in the soil, tending to its needs and wondering what will grow. The seed starts as one question, but as the ritual of waiting to see what sprouts grows momentum, more questions rise with the bud to the surface of the dirt. What have I planted? Is it hearty enough for this climate? Will it be a tree that lasts for decades, or a plant that lasts a season? Will it spread? Will I even know what it is once it grows? Will it be beautiful? How do I define beauty?
Like the mystery seed, the question I start with at the onset of a piece is often small, yet powerful. One question leads to another, and before I know it I’m asking more questions than learning answers.
And this is my process. Question, question, question.
I just finished a piece that asks more questions than it provides answers. What importance does spirituality have in our lives? What is the correct way to believe and practice? Why should we believe? How do I know what I believe is true? How do I recognize a higher power in my life? Who has the ultimate control? Why does this even matter?
Despite the 35 hours I put into completing this piece, my colored pencils just couldn’t work out all the answers. However, like the seed germinating beneath the soil, sometimes the process of questioning is more meaningful than learning the answers. Sometimes, it’s the questions we ask that tell us more about ourselves than anything else.
Blind Faith | 2017, Prismacolor and Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencil, Pan Pastel, Le Plume Maker on Strathmore Artagain Grey Paper.