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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When nature takes the lead

Hummingbird Abstract Art Lausen Arts
Published Title: Dance of the Hummingbird
Medium: Digital Abstract Painting
Description: Layers of reds and yellows

So what do you think this is an image of?

I thought you'd say that. It was the same thing I thought when I first saw it too, that's why I put the word 'hummingbird' in the title. To me, its form seemed obvious. But, do you know why I included the word 'dance' in the title? That might not be so obvious.

I guess a good place to start would be to explain which method I tend to use when creating the majority of my abstract work. Primarily, I use digital illustration tools. By today's standards digital is not so unusual, it is, well, standard. However, what I'm referring to is the means in which I put those tools to work, which isn't so standard. Here's a word clue: potter.

Now take the word potter. Most of us instantly think of this word as a description for a person who creates pottery. Simple enough. But did you know that the word can also mean “to move about aimlessly” [1] Now I don't want to imply that these artisan's creative process is where they're just aimlessly moving about in order to create their pottery, however, if one of them said that they did just that, I would be very interested in getting to know them.

So, why would I want to get to know someone who blindly moves about without any set course? Someone who just arbitrarily moves in all directions purposelessly, aimlessly, and confused? I mean aren't artists supposed to have a 'vision' that gives them their direction. Doesn't a painter need to see the landscape physically first or at least endlessly sketch his 'vision' prior to painting his masterpiece? Aren't photographers supposed to have 'an idea' of what they want to capture with their camera before they start randomly releasing the shutter? Well, sure, but in my opinion, if you have the freedom to answer those questions with no as your answer, then choose no every time.

The thing is, the word 'aimlessly' can be seen from two different angles. One negatively, as in, without aim, and one positively, as in, without aim. It all depends on how you wish to slant your perception. Whether it's good or bad is up to you. To one man being lost is bad, and to the other, it's a new adventure. From my point of view, I embrace the concept of taking an adventure without aim quite willingly. One of the most incredible trips I've ever embarked on was the summer I had no purpose whatsoever but to wander 'aimlessly' through Europe.

And that's where the above piece of abstract art comes in, or should I say, comes out. Instead of establishing a plan prior to starting the process, where I would have outlined a layout first, I chose instead to go the route of trusting the Universal Inspiration. That way, I could see what would come out of Its intent. You know, see what my inner Abstraction would inspire me to do.

So, I placed all the necessary physical components, like a computer and pen tablet before me, prepared the software application with such information like dimensions and profiles, then proceeded to the next vital step, which, was to close my eyes and quieten the chattering mind. Truly this is the hardest part. However, with determination one can get through to the gateway of silence where the higher mind, this Mind of Creativity, is patiently waiting to bring forth an expression of itself. And in this case, it did. Eyes opened, movement began, and this digital potter began to build, flatten, and throw lines, circles, and angles into shape on the digital canvas. Every now and then the logical mind would want to intervene. After all it 'thinks' years of training and experience must afford it some control and pride, but in the end its contributions were lost in the mix. Finally, time had lapsed into what felt like an instant. There it was ― content had taken form. An effect, that started out with no conscious representational intent, ended up being, in effect, a representation of a bird and flower. All I could do was smile because somehow during this 'dance' that I had agreed to perform, where Spirit would lead and I was just expected to follow, out spun a hummingbird doing, in essence, the exact same thing, except his ballet partner would be the bud of a flower and their stage would be lit from the reflection of a sunset or a red and yellow French Marigold flower.

Now some would say that all this was just my memory coming to the foreground. They could be right. Hummingbirds have made a big impression on me. After all, I've watched little Anna and Ruby-throated hummingbirds feed just outside our balcony for years now. In winter, one by one, they fly in to replenish their energy on the sweet syrup we provide for them, and during the summer months they play amongst our potted yellow marigolds. Or you could say that it was from one of my other memories. The performance I saw where Jaimie and Hok performed, 'The Hummingbird Dance' on, So You Think You Can Dance made a big impression on me. Who couldn't watch them dance and not want to embedded that presentation into their hearts? It was absolutely amazing. Choreographer Wade Robson[2] is amazing! But, that all said, I don't believe my art came from a memory. I believe, it was from a place beyond memories. You see, memories are past ― over with, and this place where true inspiration comes from, can only happen now. It is present and our mind has to be in Its presence to received the unfolding of it.

So, now you have a little insight around this artistic creation. The physical results do give off the 'impression' that it's a hummingbird and a flower, but that's not what I would want to leave you with. I would want you to understand that this piece is more than just a physical re-presentation of something, it's a presentation of something beyond the physical. It presents the willingness to 'let go' of control and allow the unknown to move you. And I'm sure Wade, Jaimie, Hok, and even all the potters of the world would agree, that we'll never really express our True nature until we really let go and move to the inner music. It will always lead us through the steps, that is, if we truly want to dance.


1. Potter description at
2. - Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Choreography 2008.

Honourable Mention

I came across this during a search on hummingbirds one day. The story explains what Sa-Cinn means... I'll leave you in suspense. I found it interesting and I know you will too.