Do I Need an Intention?

I found this journal entry from October 17th last year. “My art room is stressing me out. But really I guess the stress is that I don’t know what to do with my art! I have such a difficult time finishing something. Lord, if I could just find an intention!” 

And there it is! I had taken the 2nd in a series of online courses designed to help me find my VOICE in art making. The first course did as it suggested and helped me find the JOY in art. It was awesome to break free from my normal precise portrait work and start just playing with color and mark making. 

But my VOICE eluded me, in fact it still does. Part of that voice was to set our intention. It could be simple, such as just exploring the many shades of a certain color, or as grandiose as expressing the pain of Mother Earth as we abuse the ecosystem! I angsted (this is a new made up word that means stressed!) for days over an intention. It held me back, Nothing called to me! AACK! 

Now, almost a year later, I have come to accept that my intention, for now, is simply to paint with joy, and my voice can be ever changing, Besides, as Artist and Filmmaker Robert Longo points out “An artist can have an intention, but the viewer has their own subjective experience.” 

Intentions can be a guide and inspiration for many artists, but they are not required! Approach your art practice with the plan to have fun, experiment and find out what you love about being creative, and it will serve you well! 

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