Those are mountains. Cool.
I’ve always wanted to be an artist. There is something inside of me, a propensity, a compulsion, that drives me to make things. Drawing, designing, building, cooking, playing music. Assemble, rearrange, flip, tweak, break apart, reassemble, repeat… This is how I play. This is how I struggle.
Therefore, I have created a lot of crap. Piles of useless scribbles, doodles, and sketches litter my home studio. Afraid to throw them away, maybe I keep them as a reminder that ideas are easy, or cheap, or temporary. Not all, but some, the gems become lasting artifacts that resonate. Ideas duplicate with effort and iteration and process and hope. Somewhere there must be a mystical recipe that turns ideas into art.
A Christmas miracle occurred a few years ago. We had friends over for dinner, and I wanted to give away some of my sketches as gifts. I selected some of my favourite pieces, put them in frames and laid them out on the table. Each person could pick from the table and take it home. I was curious which pieces would be chosen and which would be left behind, a test of sorts. One friend said that she chose her’s because it reminded her of the mountains. At that time, I wasn’t trying to make these sketches into mountains, but I certainly saw what she saw too. With imagination an abstract, formless doodle, combined with her own experience and it inspired meaning and the ideas duplicated, like magic.
My idea was too vague on its own. But, when it was articulated, recognized, contextualized, unrelated shapes took form and meaning. The mutual understanding, the shared beliefs combined as key ingredients in the artistic concoction. This interaction, like a conversation between artifact and individual, was when I believe the idea turned to art.
I took to the playful struggle of deconstructing, rearranging and assembling the strokes and slopes and lines and rocks and textures and skies until the story was simple. Anyone who would hear could understand.
“Those are mountains. Cool.”