"Granville Musings" (115cm x 200cm) Charcoal, Pastel and graphite on Brown Paper, 2011
When I am working on one of my drawings, I am always open to spontaneity, serendipity, and other chance occurrences that wander through my head. In the past I needed to have the image pretty well worked out in my journal before I commenced, but then I started reading about Dadaism, and how chance played an enormous part in their creativity. In particular the written word, but music and visual art were all heavily influenced by this movement. Immersing myself in Dadaism gave me permission to let go and be open to all ideas. If in the middle of a piece of work now I am hit with an idea, I automatically honour it and incorporate it in my art without questioning it's relevance. I will make the new idea fit.
But this need I have to honour the idea, is partly to do with where I believe ideas may originate from. The Ancient Greeks believed we were privileged enough to be merely channelling ideas from elsewhere in the universe. If it was a great idea you weren't feigned as a genius, you were merely the one chosen to bring it to light. Conversely, if the idea stank, it wasn't your fault either, the gods got it wrong! Either way the artist's reputation remained in tact.
The American poet Ruth Stone could see "a thunderous train of air coming down over the landscape" where she lived in the mid-west. The wind was ladened with a new idea. She would run furiously to her house to get a piece of paper, for if the ideas passed over and she wasn't ready, someone further along, would collect and use them.
I need to grab that idea when it comes to me, record it, and use it without questioning!