Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Art as a Sadhana

Pratyasha Nithin

An art is a Sadhana(spiritual effort), an ever learning process in which an artist is always a student. He may or may not have a physical teacher. But he is always taught by his own thoughts and sense perceptions. Nature is the greatest teacher and one learns a lot of things just by observing her. The work of the nature and the Physical teacher is to help a student to discover his own inner Self which is the inner guide and teacher. And once the inner self starts to guide an artist, art will flow out of him spontaneously. It is this state of spontaneity, an artist must aspire to achieve because without spontaneity it is impossible to achieve perfection.

Perfection as for as an artist is concerned is an ability of the artist to paint on a canvas or carve in a stone perfectly the image which he had in his mind. That is, if the physical image created by an artist is a perfect replica of his mental image, only then his art-work can be termed as perfect. Practically speaking it is almost impossible to create an exact replica of the image, the artist has in his mind.

This near perfection can not be achieved in a day or a month. An artist must continuously and patiently strive hard to improve his skills with dedication and a sense of detachment. He must make his art a sadhana, spiritual effort towards this goal of perfection. Only such an attitude of commitment, humility and detachment will lead to purification of his heart and mind(chitta-shuddhi) which will in turn help him develop spontaneity. More the mind is purified, more the spontaneity he develops.

No matter if the artist is a beginner or a professional, there is always a scope for learning in every art work he accomplishes. Sometimes it could be a new trick for an old concept and sometimes a solution to an old problem or it could be a completely new perspective of looking at things. With every effort, he walks a step further in an eternal process of being perfect. Even though an artist may or may not achieve perfection, it is important for him to enjoy the journey. An artist himself is the best judge and critic of his own work. Because he alone knows what he expected from the outcome of his painting and where he failed, what mental image he had and how much he was able to depict in his work.

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