contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Night Sea Journey

Night Sea Journey

The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination
into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended,
and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.

It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets,
and you let these nets down - sometimes, something tears through them
that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore,
and put your head under your bed and pray.

At other times what slips through are the minutiae,
the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing.

But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food,
food for the human community
that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.

~Terrance McKenna

A night sea journey, much like creating art, is a process. I go fishing time after time, casting my net and seeing what comes up. Ideas, solutions, images, metaphor...anything might be caught in the net.

I was speaking with a friend recently about the process, my process which is the way I find meaning in art making.

I am speaking of the being part of creativity…being in an emotionally open, thinking, non-thinking, spiritual space that also encompasses the physical, as in dance. This is letting down the net for the night’s fishing.

Creating is doubt coupled with knowing, but fishing anyway.

Process is being intuitive; responding to what is happening, being alert and aware, but meditative. It is experience coupled with non-judgment and curiosity. It is non-control tempered with knowledge.

It is being an open channel. It is being a tool. It is responding. It is being the net and the fisher.

Process is about stopping to look and look and ponder, sensing what my response is, and sensing what is coming up from the deep ocean well. It is exploration along the Way.

Process is dreaming the answer days after I have lain a piece aside for a while to await the new step. Process is a flash of knowing, followed again by the questions. It is knowing and not-knowing at the same time.

It is the moment.

The connection to the process is my connection to meaning. The meaning comes from within, and is the guide. Meaning and process are nourishment. They can be caught at night while fishing, or when working in the studio. 

You can click on the image to see the painting larger if you like.