Art has always been an important aspect of my life, at times acting as a medium for self-expression and other times feeding a need for creative exploration. The beauty of art is the freedom it allows us to be completely ourselves, free of social constraints, insecurities, rules, etiquette; a freedom that is often not ours when communicating with words. There is a definite degree of rawness that comes with this kind of silent poetry, especially when we invite the world into this personal space.
I am excited to introduce a new Artists on a Limb writing series, Writing Art, where we explore this creative journey with my friend and very talented artist, Al Gord.
Thank you Al for sharing your work and allowing us into your world.
Painting as a Vehicle for Communication
Writing Art by Al Gord
“As communicators, artists should not just portray a subject. Their work should be a window to the thoughts and inner workings of their artist lives and minds.”
Trapped Within My Own Personal Chaos
The essence of art, in any form, is to communicate with others. From the earliest times drawings, paintings, dance, acting, song, and oral story have been used to pass down history, share monumental events, and commemorate stories of personal value. Today the past is documented in many forms and allows for easy accessibility for people to learn about the past. For current events media outlets and social media allow for instantaneous news, stories of personal interest and important breaking events. However, there is still an important role for the arts to play in society and in giving voice to others.
When I first started painting I dabbled in watercolours and oils; I tried painting nature scenes and still life. None of this resonated with me! I gained experience looking at other artists’ work and reproducing their painting purely for my own enjoyment. While I derived some pleasure from re-creating other’s work, I always felt a void upon completing the piece. People would be impressed with “my work” and the positive response, while uplifting, still did not fill my artistic void. Continued practice helped me improve my technique and allowed me to see art from a different vantage point.
Over time and after a break from art I realized why I was not getting the enjoyment out of something for which I once had a passion: the essence of art, and of any creative pursuit, is to convey a message, an idea, an emotion. Without that the final product is empty. When an artist is sharing their innermost thoughts, their most personal feelings – their passion and their message comes across in the work. It was this shift in understanding, due in part to life circumstances, which helped my transition from someone who produced art to that of an artist – two very different creative types, both in style and mindset.
Everyone has a message to share, experiences to retell, and emotions to express. Some people find that talking to a trusted person in their life or journaling their ideas are enough. For others, the creative route is a powerful and transformative way to further express their ideas. While this requires some level of comfort in letting strangers in, it is also incredibly cathartic! Not only does the support the artist, but this experience allows other people to connect with and relate to the art and the artist.
Al Gord is an up and coming artist who uses abstract techniques with figurativism to create Modern Romantic Expressionist pieces and Rock Icon Portraitures. To learn more about Al Gord and his work, visit him at the links below. He welcomes inquiries, questions and feedback.