"I see things differently..."

Monday, March 11, 2013


An artist friend of mine posted on Facebook today this question...
"What is visionary art? I see some artists claim that description, but it has my head scratching. Any ideas?"   The first reply posted came in the form of a wry question... "They have visions of being an artist"?  

Realizing that at times, I have described myself as a "visionary artist", I decided to post the following response:    
"I have used the term "visionary artist" to honor that the work is come from a greater vision beyond my own limited self…a way of celebrating the connection to a larger consciousness. This is what I understand "visionary" to mean, but it is certainly a word that could contain a rich variety of interpretations. I would love to hear how others see it". 
Well, just offer that out to the universe, and one might expect a response from the "larger consciousness"....complete with all the sense of humor that it can provide! 

A few hours later,  I was working in my art studio.  My giant converted dining room table is what I actually paint on.  It stands next to my easel which I keep, tightened by levers, in a flat position.  In a sort of reversal of purposes,  I use this real easal as tabletop... makes sense??   
I needed to reach for a painting tool on another stand, and, as I did so, leaned ever-so-lightly on my easel.  The entire easel collapsed forward into my frantic arms.  It had been loaded with paintings in progress, supplies, notes, slides….it was all there!  Even as I was desperately trying to catch the falling objects and stave off the rest of the cascade, I started seeing pieces that might help me in my current work project.  So I laughed as some answers to my creative searching, were literally tossed into my arms.  Some reckless visionary artist I am….yes, I accept all help….even when it comes in forms that I would not choose. 

So by my definition, being "visionary" appears to be all about staying open.... as life hands me my "material",  I may well find myself creating something entirely different than what I'd originally had in mind.  I may find myself laughing in holy horror at the directions that things have gone.  I may find myself throwing my hands up in the air, waiting for instructions on what I should do with the mess.  Or, most likely of all, I will find myself just proceeding onward, trusting that the direction will be given as I go along. 

Ultimately, I believe that claiming the name of "visionary artist" is about affirming and following through on a commitment to staying open, holding an awareness that all that happens in life is potential material----an offering to transform and bring to wholeness whatever is given to us for that purpose. 

1 comment:

  1. "So by my definition, being "visionary" appears to be all about staying open.... as life hands me my "material" — Gail, this fills me up with "yes's and dittos and me toos!" And I must say it's wonderful to "meet" you via your blog and FB. You are full of delightful surprises... and exciting artwork and poetry.