Saturday, September 20, 2014

Grinding Flour -- a Metaphor for Art (Six Word Saturday)

Originally this came into my head a couple of days ago, but it was as a metaphor for life.  Then I mused that art is also a metaphor for life.  And that life is, even more,  a metaphor for art, to an artist.

Sometimes art grinds you, sometimes you grind it.  It's about being transformed.  One of the reasons making art is challenging is that it's about coming face to face with yourself.  It takes stamina. Making art will change who you are, one way or another.

In Field and Fen this week, I've been describing my adventures in, literally, grinding flour from various pulses and grains, and it's so much like working in the studio.  Having a concept, then doing all the prep needed to let it happen and develop, then seeing the results, sometimes surprising, sometimes grittier than you expected, but always the act of making is the important issue, more even than the physical result.

And I just discovered this morning that aboriginal paintings were created in just this way: the eventual result less important than the sacred act of making the painting.  

Beautiful results are a by-product, and a bonus, rather than the whole point of making art.  Something not always well understood by people looking in from the outside.   And making something in order to sell it is so irrelevant to the whole life of art, that it's why real artists have either patrons (often generous spouses) or day jobs.


  1. Love that bit about patrons sometimes being generous spouses! Must tell my hubby that he's moved up in the world.

  2. Very thought provoking piece. :)


Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!