I Am Awake Really

Coleridge famously used opium and ended up with quite a dream. De Quincey was an addict as were many who took Quinine (opium being the active ingredient) for pain. Artists also take drugs because they are bored and they hear good things about getting ‘high’, and they seek the heightened intellectual response to reality drugs can give. Colours, sights, smells  change as all the senses are effected.

This should be something of a creative activity although sadly it does often destroy the artist. But then everything destroys the artist eventually. You can have too much feeling and be overrun with the sheer immensity of the pain of the world, or the wonders of life, or the creative force of nature. I think people who talk about artists rarely ever realise what a dangerous kind of life it is to lead. One is always on the edge of oneself which is why some people with depression and mental disorders sometimes find an escape in the arts – even a therapy.

Loneliness comes with giving one’s life to an art form. A dedication that often leaves no room for anything else long-term. It is no surprise that artists in common with all who suffer, turn to drugs of one form or another.

Of course some artists don’t take drugs but their way of being an artist makes one think they do!

The Art Of Dimensions

I am very bad at being able to visualise finished work taking shape in mid air or empty space. I look at pieces of paper wondering if I could draw anything and doodle because nothing comes to mind but words. The few times I have sat down and sketched something like my dogs sleeping or a flower it takes forever and comes out wrong somewhere along the line:)

I have great respect for people who have developed those areas of the mind that can work in imagined three dimensions but quite obviously I was not made to be an architect and I have never learned draftsmanship.

But that doesn’t mean I cannot both appreciate skills in others and get a lot out of watching them work. Because I can follow their eyes, imagine my arm muscles skillfully manipulating materials, sense the concentration as their work. Many years ago as a child I was always scared of thinking myself into someone else’s shoes in case I suddenly became them; I had visions of being at a piano in the middle of a concert and not knowing what to do next. It was an amazing thing when I told my mother this and she told me she had had the same thoughts as a child. How alike are brains!

But that empathy, that bond of human experience, is the very foundation of my own work.

Words Pander

As I have been writing this everyday I remember my mother telling me that words pander. If you are literate you can write and but just because you can write does not make you an artist of any calibre. Words will always flow. She explained this to me on many occasions telling me once that Ted Hughes used words as a therapy.  As such he was a deeply flawed writer.

I have visited many sites this past few months for writers and seen all the creative writing classes and many of the creative writing results. There is only one thing I can say about any of it and that is that it is good they are concentrating on writing as opposed to other things that occupy peoples minds. But they all prove that everything is certainly not art.

Art is not only the individual mind, it is also Nature speaking through us. It is not just one person’s experience but experience expounded for all to embrace with recognition. Art is not something just artists do, it is the creative instinct in us all that a few fight with all their lives, to bring into all our lives.

There are far more artists out there than actually live the life. Many people give up early. It is too tough an existence for them to contemplate.

Art is the life.


What can art give the rich? Actually nothing more than it gives us all.

Some people becoming wealthy turn to patronage of the arts because they have the money to pay for the art works and places to exhibit them. But the energy of the creative force in the artist, the place where men get closest to what it means to be a woman and a human-being touches the ‘mind of nature’, this exists for everyone.

Historically the places where that energy is greatest, the flowering in city states in ancient Greece – political systems which were broadly the base for the city states of Renaissance Italy, the palaces of Rajahs, are places of money but the monied like Pericles or the Medici do not have to buy art, they are driven to it. Because the acts of creation resonate within them, speak in a language they cannot fully translate but nonetheless recognise, and reverberate with the populace.

And of course the art works usually outlive the rich. A gift to the Ages and a remembrance of wealthy names which the artist also understands and uses. In the digital eons ahead artworks will vanish, eroded by time, and their images will be left in 3D for everyone to enjoy. Even to be shared by other intelligences across the cosmos. Intelligences we hope, who will laugh at our pretensions but enjoy our creativity.

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