Art is in the flower; in the life energies flowing in the artist’s body that recognizes the flower as special.
An artist is a true artist when he doesn’t use “his” hand to create “his” painting of a flower. It is the flower, which wants to b drawn and painted and filters beautifully through that particular artist’s set of eyes; the flower seeds the birth of the painting. Those eyes must have been lying in wait for that moment of combined divinity and beauty to happen; it is the flower that has to be drawn – must be drawn- and come alive in another dimension and attain immortality until the fabric of existence (canvas) itself dissolves into nether. A flower, and every tree, bush, shrub, or plant has lived the current dimension in enough silent rapt attention to have heard all the beats and melodies and rhythm of the universe and can manage the onslaught of unsettling and the silent change of a far limited dimension that is strictly 2D.
It is not the form alone, for the form is only a fragmented mask of its brothers’ traits that it could wear off the shelf, purchased with genetic currency, and then share it with its environment. Nothing unique. Not as much. It is the esprit in the flower, the spirit bursting out, that which lives inside the flower, which spoke to – not the artists eyes or hands – but the heart and mind that will control the hand.
The flower can survive casual death. It can withstand the realization of the enormity of the empty and the non-rewarding infinity of immortality and not complain. Immortal resurrection in another dimension. It can give away some part of its essence to the artist in the moment. Just like that. Knowing for sure that some of it will never come back.
The flower in a sense is merely a naïve messenger of the beauty gods giving up its vital essences so that beauty may live. The flower then is noble. It is not manipulating. It does not know what it was used for and what message it has carried from the beauty gods. It only plays messenger and carries the burden and responsibility of being the flower in the first place. And then it delivers the message right at the eye of the artist and imprints him with a unique tattoo that is unique for every artist. Because all artists have different eyes and even more different skins. Because the skin underlying its stamp makes a difference.
Embellishments are heavy burdens for purity, his embellishment is purest and of most significance when it is not conscious. The artist must cleanse himself of his physical and corporeal barriers and paint merely by instinct. He must recreate the flower as it appeared in the vision, rather than how he would like to remember it, or how it would have been better if it had a bow around it. If he were to embellish the image, he has blocked it midway, and cornered some of its vitality.
The total corruption of art happens with such painters because they then impose their insecurity on “what was meaning to be expressed by making an arbitrary investment of trust in the integrity of an arbitrary artist’s ability, rather than waiting for the right painter to come along”.
In fact, to say the flower has a need to be drawn makes the flower manipulative; gives it an ego. The flower does not prefer an artist. It doesn’t mind the black and white camera or the color film. That is true egoless-ness. This one step of offering an opportunity to be worthy of drawing to tired and waiting eyes – without even the knowledge that it is playing this role – and to receive no sense of importance from the external environment that is the true dharma of the flower, it has been a fully formed flower all the way and been the best flower it can be. It cannot look at another flower and hold its petals just so. All it can do is flower. The flower therefore does not command the artist. it is in fact the attribute that the flower has no control over at all – its inherent beauty and its innate nature – that compels the artist.
The pursuit of the artist is therefore not to capture a flower, but the flower he felt in awe of. If he adds anything to the vision, then it would be embellishments only serving one purpose: of claiming his skill can somehow improve beauty.
It is the lenses of the artist that make a one among hundreds flower that “special” beautiful. And a yardstick of the artist’s integrity is when he represents what he perceives in the best way he can. Not to master the technique of drawing itself to be able to draw anything that comes his way. An artist doesn’t paint the view. A drawing and painting major does.
The artist paints “the love” for what he perceives. The stalk lifts the artist’s fingers, the petals imbue it with color; the central core of the flower, however, is the seat of inspiration: it is blank, and dark, and often a bottomless pit. It is when you stare down the core, though, which offers noting but a dark and safe space for yourself, that you discover your true self, your true eyes, and the true essence of the flower.
I may have written this, but I cannot take credit for it. It happened in my ear.