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© Copyright 2002-2007

Joanna King Dunlap's Philosophy of Art
June 2002

I believe that the capacity to create art whether it is an expression of beauty, emotion, or simply an interesting observation is born in each of us.

The overwhelming challenge is to free the mind of judgment, education, and even intention in the process of creation. A strong body, a clear head, and ample supplies are the only prerequisites. I feel that to truly get into the process of creation an artist must work alone, not to develop style or technique, but to simply develop. Spontaneity, confidence and perseverance are key at this stage.

As time disappears, one may pick up a handy object to use for paint application or removal. I have painted not only with my favorite brushes and palette knives, but also with combs, toothbrushes, spatulas, hands and brooms. I have created textured backgrounds with gesso and sand, gravel, dancing children, hands and feet. Liberally, I have used a garden hose to create a new picture from which to start, or to finish an old one.

I try to stop when I like something, as a child can be proud of a mess, before anyone else is allowed to offer an opinion. Opinions usually are devastatingly non-productive for me. I also stop when the reasoning or critical voice reemerges or when I become too tired or hungry. I don't discard anything, but I put a lot away. Somehow, I am aware when a work is finished.

Creating can be thoroughly exhausting, can keep me awake at night and at the same time be the most energizing enlivening experience.

So, if you're young or old, find a place, garage or cellar, find a time, day or night. Forget right and wrong, good and bad. Believe there is art within and let it escape.