Catharsis, is derived from the Greek, Katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”. The term is further defined as sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of anger, pity, sorrow, laughter, or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal, restoration, and revitalization.The present day world with its infinite variety, infinite perception, infinite choices – with so many options available to us in the making of art it is amazing that any sense of universality occurs in the first place.
What is it that compels us to make something, to create something that rises to the level of Art, to share it with others, and to return to our creation to reinterpret it, appreciate it, or alter it?
So many artists would say that making art is a way to meditate or find their center, others would say that it is how they make sense of the chaos in the world – for some it is a way to relate to nature and God’s creation.
Much like music, creating art gives us power, helps us to understand life and death, and relate our thoughts and feelings to others in a deep spiritual language. And from the experience of creation we feel a purging of conflicting thoughts and a renewal of our underlying freedom of the structures of life – maybe being brought back to a psychological state similar to that of children.
Most of us have encountered difficulties in the effort to create and improve and we have referred to the paintings of the masters as well as books and other materials to learn methods and solutions. This is all well and good, but there is no substitute for the difficult work of plumbing the depths of our individual minds and confronting our demons.
Since we are in fact after a renewal of our own being, a cleansing of ourselves, a catharsis, and hope to share the elements of transcendence and growth with others – why do we so often allow the methods and techniques to be more important than the emotional qualities within the work?
How do we translate shared human experience within the framework of the medium, respecting (if we choose to) the elements of design that are also used by every other artist – and also follow through on our own authentic path? Feel your own mortality, realize our fleeting time, respect and understand your past, and be in touch with the present state of yourself and all humanity, and the great and subtle daily changes in the human condition.
If your goal is to share yourself, to move your viewer profoundly, to experience a walking of the tightrope between order and chaos, to trigger a response that will leave people feeling somehow changed forever, then do not be afraid to push people into the darkness so they can once again emerge into the light.
Every day, as we awake, explore, and return to sleep, we act as a metaphor for existence – it is a birth, life, and death. Every day we experience life through our interactions with others and our knowledge of the experiences of the rest of the world.
Connect with me on Twitter (MikeOwensArt) on Twitter
Like me on Facebook @ facebook.com/mikeoart