the artistic bent

The Artistic Bent
By Guest blogger Chay Partridge

The artistic bent is a subject open to personal interpretation, like many things to do with art.  This week I bring you some thoughts about it, that you may or may not have considered before.

“One day I went a-wanderin

Down a dusty road

As dusk was casting its shadows,

Across my precious load…”

This is the beginning of a poem of mine, and to be honest, nothing external prompted it, the inspiration for it came from a place inside me where beauty resides.  As far as I am concerned, if an artwork does not even attempt to touch this place, it is merely wearing the façade of art and is not the genuine article.

I make this bold statement because I am experienced in channelling inspiration, and I have found that this place of beauty is its home.  As we complete an artwork and examine its fluidity and overall effectiveness, we can begin to see that its congruence is due to the overall beauty that has been achieved.

This is not to say that all art must be beautiful, but only exceptional technical skill can make up for a vague moment of inspiration.

Beauty is what causes us to admire things – it is what I describe as an absolute-value, as it is the nature of all beings to move toward what they are attracted to.  This attraction gives our inspiration the wings it needs to cause us to create, develop and evolve.

the artistis bent,waterhouse

Painting by Waterhouse

So how do we find it?  Does everyone have an artistic bent? Well, there are two ways to ‘get inspired’… the commonest and easiest way to do this is to look at stuff until you find what you like, then get ideas from it and come up with your own version.  The other more advanced method, for the artistic aspirant, is to find it using introspection.  We do not concentrate on looking for ideas we like in our head or finding out nice stuff to paint or write about, but rather we concentrate on self-analysis, constructive self-criticism, and reflection upon what is important in our lives.

It is definitely a slower method, but by doing this we get rid of what is unnecessary and discover that which truly makes our life meaningful.  And THAT my friends is what actually drives inspiration… it’s the meaning, the being of self and the purpose of what we are doing that gives it real grunt and long-term drive.

You will see in the Rembrandt piece, that the subject is an ugly old man, but Rembrandt’s inspiration has used characterisation, colour and compositional fluidity to capture the beauty that is inherent in life – it doesn’t focus on superficially ‘beautiful’ traits.

rembrandt,the artistis bent

Rembrandt – Portrait

There are some instances where a person may be delighted to create something grotesque and call it art, yet you will find that with all artistic movements, even surrealism and cubism, aesthetic harmony and balance are never compromised.  Because these are the essential features of beauty that give art its foundation.

Cubism,the artistis bent

Picasso – cubism

Creative Practice

Creative Practice – elements

creative practice

Creative Practice is a term relating to different elements in an artist’s life. Some people regard to all of these elements as creative practice however others relate this term to those things which are exclusively concerned with the creation of the art that they produce. I am going to outline some of those things that go into producing a painting, which are part of the creative process and therefore are the creative practice.

  • The first thing and I just must do is to come up with an idea for either single work or a body of works.
  • Painting can be just working on a single picture but this is an art practice that has no depth. As we develop and grow as artists, we endeavour to explore the depths of whatever subject we are examining. This often requires much thought. It can require research into ideas and techniques.
  • I will often build a mind map around certain idea – in this case – Beauty


Mind Map,beauty,kadira jennings,creative practice

  • From that point I will take one of the branches on the mind map and explore that further. In that exploration, I might be researching into painting techniques, or looking for visuals that support my idea.
  • Once I have a rough idea of what I want to do, I may then do some preliminary drawings.

I should mention at this point that the ideas I do use, do not usually just happened on your own and are not necessarily a result of specific research. Part of one’s art practice involves things that we notice on a day-to-day basis. This might be shadows of a particular tree or possibly the lights playing on the water at the beach, will give me an idea of the colour I would like to use in the next painting.

That is why the practice of the art of presence is so important in an artist’s life….. Mindfulness has become a buzz word of late, however this practice has been used by artists for centuries. All the things that I am aware of in my external environment become part of my internal awareness which I can then bring to my canvas once I get there.

This Weeks Question: How well do you understand your own creative practice?

Look For Next Week’s Post:Creative Practice – Part II


Photo Credit:  stokpic (Pixabay)


A foray into the Celestine Prophecies recently acquainted me with the idea that the first stage of spiritual awakening is when we perceive beauty within everything, that all things have their own inherent beauty.  As a creative person, this is something that resonates very deeply with me.  I find it fascinating therefore that some people who profess to have great spiritual insight, put forward the idea that this world is just a place of suffering and misery and basically ugly and un-spiritual along with everyone in it.

Morning Light on the water

And yet there so so much beauty everywhere we look if we but have the eyes to see it.  One of the great benefits of training in the visual arts – painting, drawing etc is that you are taught to see the world in a very different way. You learn to be more present to your surroundings and pay attention to things that would otherwise completely pass you by.

Today’s Question: What loveliness can you find in your world today?

Stream Flowers

As I was saying last week – I think Spring is in the blood. I was given a poem this week by Shae Partridge, a young woman who has had a difficult life and is finding some measure of her creative self again in words. Here are some of her thoughts on the nature of Beauty.

The Nature of Beauty - Poem

Poem: Shae Partridge

Visual: Kadira Jennings

Five Part Series on ‘Beauty In Art’ – Part 1
Last week Shelia Finkelstein got me to thinking about beauty and our perception of it, in art, generally and generationally.  The idea of generational beauty was thought provoking.  We are all of course, products of our environment and cultural upbringing.  What we find beauty in differs at various times in our lives as well as between generations.  My mother found no beauty at all in Hendrix  belting out Voodoo Child – why she didn’t – well that was a complete mystery to me.  Different standards of beauty I guess.

One thing beauty requires of us  is our attention – fully and completely if we are to really engage with it.  The more we immerse ourselves, the more present we get regardless of our age, life stage, generation – beauty is open to us if we just take the time to ‘stop and smell the flowers’.

Smell The Flowers

Smell The Flowers

Beauty is subjective – when was the last time you really appreciated the true beauty of something?

Image Credit: Ozark http://

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