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  • Writer's pictureNelson Ferreira

Alchemy of Creative Flow


Introduction:

In the world of art, there exists a mystical realm where the boundaries between the artist and the image blur, giving rise to a state of profound creativity. For many artists, myself included, this state of trance is the space where the best paintings come to life. After years of dedicated technical training and honing the craft, the artist becomes a conduit for inspiration, tapping into a flow that transcends the ordinary. In this blog post, we will delve into the alchemy of creative flow and explore how, for me, it has become the key to unlocking the true potential of my artistic expression. The concept of creating art in a state of trance is not a new one, but to me it gained a profound relevance during the pandemic. As the world slowed down, so did the frenetic pace of our lives, allowing us the opportunity to explore the depths of our creative selves. I've created a support network with several artists. Through Zoom meetings, our group delved into the chapters of the book "The Artist's Way", each discussion unveiling new layers of understanding and inspiration. The book's core principles, such as the importance of daily creative rituals and the concept of "morning pages," became touchstones in our artistic pursuits. These rituals helped us break through creative blocks and tap into a state of flow that mirrored the trance-like experience described by many artists.



The "morning pages" led me to create a whole new method of painting, that responds to the direction of the light.



The Journey of Technical Mastery:

Before delving into the ethereal world of creative trance, it is essential to acknowledge the foundation upon which it is built—technical mastery. The journey begins with countless hours of meticulous practice, learning the intricacies of brushwork, understanding color theory, and grappling with the nuances of composition. This phase of the artistic journey is akin to learning the alphabet before crafting poetic verses. It lays the groundwork for creative expression, providing the tools necessary for the artist to communicate their vision. I've immersed myself in the study of various artistic styles, experimented with different mediums, and meticulously perfected the foundations of my craft. This extensive training has served as the scaffolding upon which the edifice of my artistic expression is constructed.

Technical proficiency acts as a conduit for the translation of ideas onto reality. Subsequently, the boundaries between my conscious and subconscious mind began to blur. This blurring of fringes would later prove to be the gateway to the transcendent state of trance.

The Evolution of Technique:

As the years pass and technical proficiency deepens, the artist enters a realm where the brush becomes an extension of the soul. This evolution is marked by an intuitive understanding of the medium, allowing the artist to manipulate it with a profound sense of purpose. The brush moves across the canvas with increasing fluidity, each stroke a manifestation of the artist's connection to the medium.


The Emergence of Creative Flow:

With a solid foundation in technique, the artist begins to experience the emergence of creative flow. This elusive state, often described as a trance, is characterized by a deep immersion in the act of creation. Time seems to dissolve as the artist becomes one with the process, transcending conscious thought. It is in this state of flow that the magic happens, where intuition takes the reins, and the true essence of the artist is revealed. There is a feeling of merging with the artwork, as if the body of the artist dissolved into the paint and into the image being created.


The Dance Between Conscious and Unconscious:

In the trance-like state of creative flow, the artist experiences a delicate dance between the conscious and unconscious mind. While technical training provides the conscious mind with a vast repertoire of skills, the unconscious mind taps into a wellspring of emotions, memories, and instincts. This dynamic interplay allows for the creation of art that is not just visually appealing but also deeply resonant on a personal and emotional level.


The Alchemy of Creative Expression:

The best paintings emerge from this alchemy of creative expression, where the artist's technical prowess and intuitive sensitivity converge. The trance-like state becomes a conduit for emotions, ideas, and inspiration to flow freely onto the canvas. Each stage of building a painting is imbued with a sense of purpose, guided by an unseen force that transcends the limitations of conscious thought.

In the journey of artistic expression, the state of trance arguably represents the pinnacle of creative achievement. After years of dedicated technical training, the artist becomes a vessel for inspiration, channeling the ineffable into tangible works of art. The best paintings are not just the result of skillful technique nor just good ideas, but a harmonious synthesis of conscious and unconscious creativity. As artists, we continue to explore the boundaries of this transcendent state, seeking to unlock the mysteries of the creative flow and produce works that resonate with the soul.

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