Monday, March 31, 2014


Artmaking as meditation and game

I’m interested in meditative aspect of artmaking. For me artmaking is based on expansion, which means taking over the empty space by repetition or by the game of composition. I have named this expandism.

I start to execute a meditative drawing spontaneously from one detail without planning the outcome beforehand. I just follow some simple idea of how I should to draw the lines (marks, dots, forms) and then I just keep on v
arying and adding them on the paper. And through this repetition of marks the drawing gradually expands into its whole. Repetition makes drawing a meditative activity that forces to focus onto drawing activity. By combining this to breathing the drawing process comes even more meditative and relaxing.

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 is gradually progressing, 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 meditative moment and the good feeling that follows. The possible work of art is 'just' a side-product of this mental process.

Another way to seek expansion is game-like creative working process. In which case the expansion is to go for from the start and it happens when I put the first line, or the detail of collage, to the “right” place on the canvass. By adding more details (lines, fragments, dots, components etc.) I try to conquer the empty space according to some simple idea like balance or harmony. And then when “all details” are glued in their proper places and everything is balanced, the meditative collage is completed.

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, playing, making a creative journey, conquering the empty space, revealing expanding artwork, searching for a hidden form and idea, and an adventure where the outcome is not known in advance.

Simple way to do a meditative drawing.

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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.