• sharonkingston

on creativity, part 1

The artist Richard Diebenkorn is quoted in the 1950s as saying:

"I want painting to be difficult to do. The more obstacles, obstructions, problems-if they don't overwhelm--the better.

Stravinsky's Poetics of Music (worth a read for his elaborations on the idea of creativity, 1947 Harvard University Press) has this to say about the same idea:

I must in turn impose mine upon it. So here we are, whether we like it or not, in the realm of necessity. And yet which of us has ever heard talk of art as other than a realm of freedom? This sort of heresy is uniformly widespread because it is imagined that art is outside the bounds of ordinary activity. Well, in art as in everything else, one can build only upon a resisting foundation: whatever constantly gives way to pressure, constantly renders movement impossible. My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit. To the voice that commands me to create I first respond with fright; then I reassure myself by taking up as weapons those things participating in creation but as yet outside of it; and the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution. From all this we shall conclude the necessity of dogmatizing on pain of missing our goal. If these words annoy us and seem harsh, we can abstain from pronouncing them. For all that, they nonetheless contain the secret of salvation: "It is evident/' writes Baudelaire, "that rhetorics and prosodies are not arbitrarily invented tyrannies, but a collection of rules demanded by the very organization of the spiritual being, and never have prosodies and rhetorics kept originality from fully manifesting itself. The contrary, that is to say, that they have aided the flowering of originality, would be infinitely more true."

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      203 PROSPECT ST

      Bellingham WA  98225

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      please send me a text with the
      day and time you'd like to come by.

      Sharon Kingston is a Northwest WA oil painter who uses the properties of her medium to create paintings that respond to both the atmosphere of her surroundings and poetry. This method of looking inward and outward and, in the moments of painting, finding her way on the canvas is her approach to creating paintings infused with poetry and the memory of landscape. The atmospheric element of her work is a testament to her desire to create spaces that are undefined, contemplative and allow room to reflect and accept uncertainty. Poetry, by nature open ended, is used both in the conceptualization of the work and as a part of the studio practice. The words of Rainer Rilke have informed Sharon’s work for many years, but she also turns to contemporary poetry when it resonates with her life. She uses layers of transparent color, reveals forms by concealing and unearthing pentimenti and suggests elements of landscape in her process.