and about flow.
About letting go. Most of us are familiar with this situation: We have times when we live too opulently. We spend our days in our comfort zone, tending to overeat, exercising too little, and the like. If the pants become too tight, we know there is a need for action. We often fast or simply try to cut back and then realize how difficult it is to change our beloved habits or even leave something out.
I feel the same way about painting. Lately, my pictures have become too opulent again and now fasting or omitting is necessary. It’s not just about leaving things out, but also about trying to approach something new. In the best case, this will take us to a higher level in our thinking and doing.
Many years ago, when I used to attended management seminars, I remember one speaker in particular, Vera Birkenbihl. Among other things, with her explanation of the word “flow”. I’m not sure if the choice of words is ideal since we generally mean something different by that, but the underlying thought is worth considering. According to Birkenbihl, we are generally in the lower part of the graph, in the comfort zone. That’s the area we’re familiar with, where we don’t need or want new challenges. An artist who continually copies himself would be a good example.
But if we then set ourselves a higher goal, we have to leave our comfort zone and, according to Birkenbiehl, come into the area of flow. It is to some extent similar to a brainstorming phase. To get there it is often necessary to break the rules, to radically question the familiar, and to take a more critical look at yourself.
Each of these works I renetly did deals with different aspects. Going into this further would go beyond the scope. I have already mentioned Oskar Kokoschka, who said: “The most difficult thing in painting is the omission”.
Simply omitting it is not enough. Omission also includes the omission of superficially beautiful, pleasing, or sensationalism. “Telling a story” with what is left becomes more difficult as the omission progresses.
Another challenge is to present as much as possible with as few resources as possible. The aim of the exercise is also to create space and atmosphere even without perspective.
And one of the most exciting questions for me is: How much and what can I leave out and still be present in the picture?