Posts Tagged ‘Meister Eckhart’

The Morning Visitation

December 19, 2019


The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.

Meister Eckhart

My blog has been on hiatus for about a week, due to travel and working on commission projects that I don’t wish to post publicly till they are complete. The Christmas season is closing in fast, and I still have preparations and more travel before me. But this morning’s reading was accompanied by a spiritual visitation that has given me pause to write.

The opening quote from a 13th-century divine lingers, adding a sweetness to the atmosphere that embraces me as I attempt to express what is happening . . . Working through the past three days on four separate watercolors at the same time has scrambled my mind and imagination in unusual ways. The four separate genres have kept my attention shifting as I continually lay aside a wet one and resume work on one of the other dry ones. Rotating the pieces frequently throughout the mornings and afternoons of the past three days has kept me on my toes. The four genres are unrelated, so I feel that I am changing the subject several times on the hour throughout the working day.

While viewing the four in-progress paintings, my mind has continually gone back and forth between the techniques and theories involved in making art. In previous posts, I have shared how this reltationship continues to drive my thinking, and recent forays into the writings of Robert Henri have added more fuel to the fire.

To put it succinctly: as a college art major long ago, I focused only on mechanics to making art. Underlying theories had no place in my thinking. Once the Bachelors degree was completed, I dove headlong into graduate school, studying theology, and a Renaissance of thought bloomed. The next ten years were devoted to academic pursuits, and almost no art was made. Upon completion of my doctorate I immediately entered the classroom, and once I settled in to the rhythm of study and class delivery, I returned to making art. So much had changed over the years. For the first time in my life, there was this multi-layered foundation beneath my art. Formerly, I had considered only technique. Then I devoted a decade to theory. Now I find myself lost in the relationship that binds the two: ideas and mechanics, theory and practice, aesthetics and craftsmanship. I am still lost in the wilderness of this relationship, and I love the effort of finding my way.

Long intervals open up between my projects, but I am almost never blocked. Rather, I am consumed with reading and listening to media, feeding my creative fire. And though I am all-too-capable of turning out a bad piece of art, I never feel that the art is “puny” to borrow the translation from Meister Eckhart. A less-than-favorable piece of art might issue from a fumble, a stumble, or bad choices, but I never feel the work is enemic. Rather, the decades of study, growth and odyssey can only enrich these expressions. And I lean forward to the next endeavor.

Meanwile, I have four watercolors I need to finish by Christmas, so the time has come to close this blog and get back into the studio.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.