|Your art reflects the energy level
you had when you painted it.
TIME is often cited as universally constant, often as a goad to the slothful masses toiling away pointlessly earning their daily bread. My perception is that time is anything but constant. Rather time expands or contracts according to our energy.
Optimal creativity can only exist during times of optimal energy levels. When we increase our energy we increase our capacity for creativity. So while everyone has the same amount of hours in the day not everyone has the same energy and therefore we have different levels of creativity. When we increase our energy we increase our creativity and our capacity to live a full life.
Our art needs to have a high level of energy–if not the viewer will not feel the life and energy you intended and will not be emotionally moved. Norman Rockwell made the analogy between a painting and bouncing a ball off a wall. A ball never bounces off a wall with more energy than it had when it hit the wall. As a painter the energy of your pitch must exceed the energy you want your viewer to feel.
Systems drive behavior, therefore we need to devise a system that promotes an energetic life. When we have low energy we ignore life giving habits. We become resentful, bitter, angry, fearful–emotions resulting from fatigue.
When we find a way to revive our energy we are kind, courageous, joyful, and invigorated. This state easily affects our paintings and viewers detect the energy just as such personal traits energize those around us. Everything either energizes us or drains us–our energy level is the most important factor to our success.
Every artist should understand this fact–time management is energy management. But knowing this equation is not enough–we need to understand it with such passion it changes us. Probably most of us won't change until the pain of not changing surpasses the pain of changing. But eventually we need to become highly conscious of this important equation–more energy=more life.
So what will boost our energy? I need to eat right and exercise regularly. Everyone is different but I can't surround myself with dark colors and energy depleting images. I need powerful, life affirming imagery. I think it wise to practice a spiritual discipline that focuses on gratitude, peace, and kindness. I also need to keep my studio neat and orderly. Pointless chaos drains me. Who would want a studio in a parking garage? Your studio should exude positive energy so you will reabsorb that energy. Studios, like great works of art, are like batteries–they energize those around them. Collectors realize this and buy the best art and let the life and energy stored in the paintings infuse their daily lives.
In like fashion some people and activities drain your energy. Avoid them. Seek people and places that replenish you. Avoid watching TV excessively. Watching TV is not restorative. No one watches TV for an hour and then jumps up feeling totally refreshed. Just like much of our food is not real food, much of our entertainment is not real entertainment–because it exhausts energy rather than restoring it. Seek out social and recreational activities that actually enhance and expand your life. Do not be satisfied with a junk food version of life.
Being an artist is not easy. It might be one of the hardest ways to make a living. More than anyone else we need to be intentional about creating an energetic life.
Brad Teare –September 2015