Part 2: What Is Your Relationship to Your Art?

what is your relationship to your art part 2

I’m asking this question, in the headline, because I really want to know.

As an artist, what have you understood over the years about your relationship to your art?

Has there been a story line weaving its way through your art career? Or have you noticed seasons of relationships with your art? A winter mode, perhaps. Or summer solstice festivities?

Does your relationship with your art, in any way, mirror your other significant relationships?

Are there highs and lows… and what’s your style of dealing with either?

Would you say there’s passion or have you slipped into it’s just oh-so-familiar I don’t have a clue what to say?

Do you have an awareness of where your relationship could be improved? Where it’s solid? And where it’s asking for more than you are currently giving?

Some artists, who have worked with me, have ongoing conversations with each piece they produce.

Is this you? Would you comment and give an example of how that dialog might go?

Do individual pieces have an individual relationship with you or is there a common core in the relationship that all of your work shares? Or both?

Tell me, please…

Pretend I’m from the third Pleiades and don’t understand this thing called “art” and “artists” much less the relationship between the two.

Go slow. Give me specifics. Or metaphors. Or send me to a link where I can see what you are talking about.


My new Manifesto For Visual Fine Artists is all about making sure you have the tools you need to develop all the relationships a thriving artist needs most.

The Entire Manifesto Is Ready For You

My plan is to use this Sunday Series of Blog Posts to tease out sections of the manifesto and illuminate, ruminate, and expand, but I can’t do this alone.

I need my intrepid artists, the ones who find a resonance with exploring how we can all step so fully into our own creative flow that the collective consciousness of humanity also wakes up and steps into its collective creative flow.

If you would like a copy of the entire Manifesto For Visual Fine Artists, click here.

I want to hear … no, I need to hear about the principles you believe will take you closer and closer to the visionary summit of the truth and power in your art.

So, please… comment here and tell me, what is the value of your art?

The Next Step

I have been coaching visual artists on their career path to Visionary Affluence since 2004.

That’s the ten-year minimum it takes to master any skill—not to say I’ve actually mastered anything. Just letting you know I have logged the 10,000 hours it takes to run fast enough, flap your wings hard enough, and leap high enough to discover whether or not you can fly.

And what I can tell you is how remarkable the view is from 10,000 hours above the creative landscape.  I can spot enclaves of my artists as they sit ‘round mythical campfires at different levels of the Mt. Olympus climb to their dreams.

Leaning into the smell of a wood fire, these artists – intrepid visionaries every one – share their experiences with each other. A hawk cries out and circles overhead as the mountain range frames a bold streak of sunset sky deepening to blood red.

I invite you to join your fellow artists, and me, under the emerging stars of your own visions, where the expansive beauty of the horizon calls out, the fire is warm, and the truth of your heart is irresistible!

Your Truth – Your Power – Your Art

Click here to get your download.

And I’ll keep you posted on the exciting new events, webinars, trainings, books, and successful artist interviews I’m mapping out as we climb this dream summit together.

9 Responses to “Part 2: What Is Your Relationship to Your Art?”

  1. Sam Liberman says:

    If there is a common thread connecting me to my art, it is the way I connect to the world visually. Before I started painting, I was a civil rights attorney. I enjoyed this and I think I was good at it, but it is a very verbal world. Words can be used well or or poorly, and I just don’t trust them as I trust vision.

    Sometimes I think we talk too much about art and don’t look enough. This is not an accusation of your profession. I think when you use words, they seem to be helpful and are more about the artist’s self than about her or his vision. But I think verbalizing about art can be deadly. Have you ever read a review or article about art in the New Yorker?

    I love to look at the world even when I am not painting. I admit that my painting is something of an attempt to add to or improve upon the world as it is. It is also something of an escape. My paintings are all attempts to find beautiful and comfortable places to stop time for a while and come back to now and then. I am perhaps too bucolic or whatever, but I don’t want violence, conflict, or even competition in this work, and I don’t want to have to explain it in words. Either you see it or you don’t.

    • Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. says:

      Hi Sam,
      You are in good company with the dismissal of language relative to images.

      However, this misses the hard-wired fact that humans always use language, even when they are just standing and looking at something not saying anything.

      The human brain finds a connection to language no matter what.

      Even you do, if you are paying attention to the language inside your mind as you work, as you contemplate an image as you make it, as you finish it, as you put it up.

      To ignore, deny, or dismiss this is to put yourself at the mercy of how others will always use language around your work.

      Without your own connection to the language that supports and honors your work (very different from describing or explaining), you lose the chance to create another layer of connection with your viewer.

      Not right or wrong, but important to know what actually is.

  2. I am the director.

    I direct hands, artist vision, color, design…all the elements that go into making the final work.

    The final work is a snap shot of all that goes into making-performing (not creating) the final piece.

    Once done other elements also modify the work such as framing, lighting, environment where shown, other works proximate to it etc.

    The work is not created out of nothing like God created the universe. It is made with the influence of other artists, teachers and life experiences.

    • Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. says:

      I’m really happy to have an artist reflect on the context of a work, and not act as if the work is something that is only of itself.

      I find artist are so seduced by the creative process, that they fail to recognize the full arc of their work and truly believe that when a piece of work has been finished in the studio, it has been finished.

  3. Let me relate the silent conversation as I am making a piece.

    Usually there are no words at all, but I will use words to simulate it…..BTW these conversations are holistic and simultaneous…..even though the words below are one after the other, the thoughts are happening at once, holistically, and I am not oriented towards what the work will look like, but what it evokes.

    “grey it down with its complement”
    “try warmer”
    “balance it with something somewhere else”
    “”kill it”
    “different shape”

    then there are long periods of looking
    of not thinking
    of making different versions
    converting to a series
    mimicking brain cell hierarchies and forming new ones

    all this revolves around how does it feel, how does it connect, make the connection deeper, simplify, get to the core, eliminate distractions

    • Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. says:

      What fun – thank you.

      And, I’m not at all convinced that sometimes there are “no words at all.”

      My hunch is that your focus is so intent elsewhere that you don’t notice the words, much like a background sound we weren’t aware of because our attention was somewhere else, then, as that intent focus fades, we realize there is a sound in our environment that, at some level, we had been aware of all along.

  4. Are you saying there is no non-verbal portions of the brain?

    Here are a few links discussing non verbal processing in our brain and its relation to spacial and emotional cues.

    When I perform certain actions (sword fighting, dancing, judging spacial relationships, judging color and emotional relationships to form-color-line etc I am using non-verbal portions of my rain.

    This is not to say the verbal portion of then brain is turned off, but is to say that many skills require access to non-verbal portions of our brain.

    People listening to music do not hear it verbally, many do not even know what to call the notes and other verbal clues that are used in music.

    Verbal portions of our brain develop after birth…we are all non verbal first.

    When a child is attempting to walk it is not saying, balance a little to the left, ok now a little to the right.—Better-Understanding-Non-Verbal-Communication.kl

    • Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. says:

      Hi Grant,
      I did reply a couple of days ago but looks like virtual reality had other plans since I don’t see it here :-)

      I would make a distinction between language as it appears in different domains and verbal language.

      I was actually referring to language before it becomes verbal, as it arises spontaneously in the brain.

      Even if there are moments when the brain switches off language to experience flow within other realms, once that flow has ceased, language returns.

      It’s at that point many of us ignore, or can’t catch what some call mind chatter.

      But it’s that inner mind chatter that I’m talking about. Some of it stays within and some of it comes out verbally, through sign language or some form of language communication because, even though we might have started out non-verbal, we do not stay there.

      We mature. And part of that maturity is paying attention to the reality of how language affects us.

  5. let me use inferior words to relate how I cognate the physical brain, consider the use of “inferior” beyond my playful use and its associated emotional response.

    I describe the brain summarily as a electro-chemical network that mimics reality.

    When I write the word “apple” it is a poor representation of the reality of an apple in our brain, which consists primarily of non-verbal neural hierarchies representing what the apple is to us (taste, texture, colors, weight, temperature, feel, wet-dry, how the body systems react to apple ingestion, emotional associations both conscious and unconscious to apple–all these words a more like “tags” representing the analog that is an “apple.”)

    In the Army we realized that pilots that scored high on verbal thinking were not as fast….therefore got killed, literally, by pilots with lower verbal skills. Verbal skills were summarized by scoring on standardized tests.

    This is because flying a plane is primarily a non-verbal analogue process.

    I was shown this by being taken up in a very rudimentary plane (wooden boards as seats, two sticks, a lawnmower control to increase/decrease engine speed–enough inferior verbal description here) Once way up in the air among beautiful forming thunderhead clouds I was given control of the airplane and had to learn how to fly the plane by the feel of gravity between my bottom and the board I was sitting on and how to manipulate the stick and two rudder pedals at the end of my feet to keep the plane stable in the air and make it go up/down…right left.

    Even though neurons were firing lick crazy as I verbally thought “holy s..t I could get us killed if I don’t figure this out” the figuring out was all analog—force, wind, speed direction related to what direction to push/pull/right-left the stick while at the same time how much to push allow the rudder pedals to move.

    I was not a pilot had no pilot training at all, and was so to speak taught to swim/fly by being thrown in the water/co-pilot seat. All that was said is “You got the stick”…….and I did figure this out.

    The Army started to select pilots with lower verbal skills because we saw that the smarter pilots thought to much in words/overthought flying in the context of fighting enemy pilots and got killed. Higher mature verbal skills interfered with the “seat of your pants” flying, sub-lingual verbal chatter on what do do made the flying decisions slower(pilot dies.)

    We have the best pilots in the world because many would consider them “dummer” less verbal types.

    When I manipulate color, it is an analog process, the majority of colors–millions— do not have word names—

    So by recording brain activity as I paint (compose, design, select colors) the parts of the brain considered non-verbal light up way more than the verbal centers.

    The verbal tag for apple is way inferior for all the non-verbal analogue tasks I must perform to paint/compose/select color/brush stroke, select size,form,line texture,weight,emotional….and so on.

    The verbal tags and chatter are summaries of all the non-verbal analogue processes in play as I paint and as pilots combat other pilots.

    Our neural networks are not shaped like pyramids, and the latest research describes hierarchies with word tags used to represent a vast sea of analogue process/memory.

    Live fighter pilots do not dog-fight in verbal mode nor do I paint in verbal mode—yes there may be verbal chatter that has associated word tags, but the vast majority of my work is non-verbal as can be seen when looking at what parts of my brain light up the most.

    That is why I say I do not think in words and the best pilots have lower verbal skills.

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