Execution: 2 of 3 Stages

posted in: Making Art, The Artist's Life | 0


an artist's hand and brush dips while the other hand holds his board

In telling about the first stage of my art making process I described the mostly unseen interior life of inspiration. It is tormenting if this part does not develop to the point where I start making something. In fact, that is sometimes what gets artists back to their canvas, keyboard, or block of marble: they can’t stand it any longer!

2. The Execution

This is what most people think of about artists because finally their inspiration is observable in the physical world. Their struggle with the inspiration comes to the outside manifested in their actions and materials.

Sometimes it starts just by puttering around with the paint, doodling, improvising on the piano, or making up a dance move to help your inspiration become material so that you can get a hold of it!

Then the experimentation reveals some combination that is at one with the inspiration.  The artist commits to the pursuit of whatever caught their attention.  With experience, they know when they have captured the best representation of their passion, not pushing it too far, nor forcing it, but allowing it to live.  It may take a long struggle, or happen so quickly that the artist must abruptly stop the execution before missing it.

An artist needs a production process which they can employ and vary repeatedly as they experiment to find and work the best manipulation of their medium for the best physical representation of their inspiration. Part of an artist’s quest is for that perfect space and medium which accommodates their physical work forming something in response to the inspiration.

The artist often seems solitary and independent because they must concentrate on the process, but this belies the reality that they always need help.

Supporting the Execution Stage

People can support artists in the execution stage by providing for often expensive materials. Space is not cheap either. Think what could be done to protect the artist’s production time, space and privacy.

Artists are learning how to make it easier for you to help. For instance both Fine Art America and Redbubble offer my digital art and photography in a variety of forms.  My poetry and fiction books are offered at Smashwords.com.

Support also includes withholding criticism before a work is completed. Try not to look, or listen to works in progress until it is requested by the artist and then carefully react in ways that will help them progress.

The Relief of Giving Birth

In a way the inspiration and execution stages are each like giving birth. When the execution stage finishes having produced a work of art it is a triumph and relief. It is such a relief that we sometimes forget the third birth process facing us, the exhibition stage, which we will discuss next