Seek… Explore… Uncover

Imagination…. The first word I remember making an impact on my soul. I was in first grade when Mrs. Joslin discussed its meaning. I knew at that moment that concept was magical, but soon found out that having an imagination may also be fleeting.

Imagination and originality are tied together. You hear brilliant scientists discuss the need for creativity. This may seem like a paradox because one seems to be rooted in reality while the other in fantasy, but to be creative, one must be open to new possibilities–uncharted waters. As I’ve studied fictional literature, I’ve learned that many stories are based off of actual experiences, dreams, and twists of the strange happenings in an author’s life. Characters based off of actual people with exaggerated qualities. The author makes a statement by focusing on aspects chosen to tell the story.

A couple years ago I took an oil painting class with a very talented painter who had concise precision executing minute details taking a photograph and painting that image onto a large canvas beautifully. She discouraged the abstract, stating that abstract art is much more difficult. I pondered that concept. Why would it be? My conclusion is because it was a skill that  many are not taught. We hear about using imagination, but how do we do that when we are many times trapped in a hard reality?

I’ve found that an excellent way of exercising visual imagination is through meditation as well as using your mind’s eye on a regular basis. We all have that visual projector within our mind, but many of us ignore it and dissociate. This leads to cutting a part of ourselves off that is vital to interesting art and interesting experiences in life. Using our visualization skills helps put our creative voice into our work.





Seek. Explore. Uncover. 

6 responses to “Seek… Explore… Uncover

  1. Great article. Abstract painting has been a difficult thing for me, too. However, when I move into collage/mixed media, abstraction becomes easy and natural. Maybe this is because I don’t ‘expect’ the collage to be ‘realistic’ but merely loosely representational, while with painting there seems to be a more realistic representation in my head. Anyways, I loved what you had to say here and you will ponder it with hopes of being able to change my perspective when it comes to painting. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I see what you mean about collage. That is true for me as well. I would love to hear if exercising visual imagination impacts your painting style.

  2. I’ve been hearing you talk about this concept for awhile now. I really want to learn how to do it effectively. So far I haven’t been able to produce any sort of painting that I’m not embarrassed to share without having a photo of something to copy. While I suppose there is nothing wrong with that…painting from realism, I would really like to learn to create from my own imagination.

  3. Imagination IS a magical word … and world. One of the gifts I give myself in my morning quiet time of writing and reading and “being still with eyes closed” is keeping an idea journal nearby in which I net my imaginings. I have more than I could ever do in that little book but I do not impose guilt or “shoulds” into it. They are ideas for fun and for free. If one rises to the top, I do it. That simple … I find what Susan says about collage to be very true for me, as well. 🙂 I love your work and your words, as always, Michelle! Keep inspiring!

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