Monday, March 31, 2014

Idea of expandism

Practicing with materials and various media are essential part of artist's education and daily toil. Sometimes it's difficult to get creative process started. Then it might be useful to go back to the basics and do some drawing or other elementary drilling for finding missing inspiration. Expandism is a mental exercise for that purpose, but it can also be a serious way of making art. 

Conventional art-making begins normally with the basic idea and sketching. Then working continues with form, mass and large surfaces. The beginning of the process is often a bit groping, but when the work gradually progress, the forms and the idea became more precise, until at the end attention is given to the most important details.  

Expandism rejects this sequence and approaches art-making from opposite direction. The focus is on details. The aim is that the careful concentration on details will transform the drawing (or painting, carving or other) into a meditative and relaxing mental process. As one works, the number of details grows and the artist begins to draw attention to the whole. Shape, form, possible composition or idea are revealed little by little towards the end of the process. But this does not always happen, nor is the 'quality' of the outcome always directly related to a successful mental exercise.  Expandism's primary goal is rewarding creative moment and the good feeling that follows. The possible work of art is 'just' a side-product of this mental process. 

Expandism is mental exercise, focusing on details, working with concentration, seeking for unhurried moment in the middle of stressful everyday life, pursuing flow-experience, kind of meditating, contemplating, making a creative journey, revealing the expanding art work, searching for a hidden form and idea, and an adventure where the outcome is not known in advance.

The expandism method in practice: Meditative drawing.   

1 comment:

  1. You have expressed this so well for me. I work in the same way and love the way you have articulated it.