Episode 8: The Essence of Process Painting

Aug 4, 2014


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In this episode, Stewart Cubley explores the essence of process painting and describes how we can see art as a living experience rather than as a commodity.

An excerpt from The Essence of Process Painting . . .

People sometimes ask me, “What is the essence of the painting process, what’s the essence of the painting experience, what’s really going on? I understand what you say about process versus product, and painting intuitively without having a plan, and working with creative blocks, and I’m understanding more about the inner critic and what it means to complete a painting. But there’s something I’m not getting. What is really going on here, what’s the essence of the painting experience?”

I love it when someone asks me that with a quality of true interest because it shows me that there’s a hunger. I believe this goes quite deep, because the process is not about just painting. The undertaking of painting for process goes far beyond the tool itself. It addresses a major challenge — a global challenge — that’s often unrecognized and certainly under-addressed. We’re familiar with the challenge of the world today in terms of physical security. It’s in the news day in and day out. And were familiar with the challenges to the environment, with the challenges posed to the planet itself. These certainly not resolved, but they are addressed. There’s an under-addressed challenge that I feel is at the core of the question about the painting process. It’s a challenge to consciousness itself, to the way in which we experience the world.

I would characterize the challenge as the commodification of experience. We are encouraged to view our experience of the world through the lens of commodities. Our experience is a commodity, and we as the experiencer are consumers. Then everything becomes about lack and acquisition. We view our own experience in a very limited way, and ultimately in a conflictual way. This is a global challenge. It’s not just one culture or one part of the world. It’s very real and it’s happening to everyone.

The painting process is one way of addressing this. It’s one way of exploring how this commodification of experience occurs — and what it means to view our experience in an entirely different way.

Listen to learn more!


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