Do You Choose Your Subject or Does it Choose You?

Over the years I’ve read about artists who speak to merely being a “channel” and that the work flows through them not from them.   This is closely related for me to the idea that the artist is brought to the subject or that the subject draws the artist to it.  Some of the great masters – musicians and painters alike speak to this experience and their own personal sense of being guided by a higher source.

The suggestion of this kind of energy or power operating is something that I haven’t been in touch with, although  I have had a few of those “unusual” moments that seem to random to be “random”.

Apple Picking Day at Terhune

Most recently, I sold the landscape painting you see above to a woman who was going to give it as a gift to her daughter. As we were talking she communicated that she was giving it as a sign of encouragement to her daughter who was considering making a career change from graphic design to farming. This painting, in the mother’s eyes, was a token of affirmation for her daughter to proceed with her dream.

As I was packing the artwork and continuing our conversation I revealed to her where I was when I painted the piece.  Upon hearing me, she stood in astonishment because this particular farm was one her daughter had a deep connection to.  She had spent much time at this exact farm and knew it and the owners well.  In that moment we both looked at each other in disbelief, smiled and agreed that this was beyond coincidence and planning.  I felt complete joy knowing where this piece would end up and was so grateful to have had the experience.

I don’t believe in coincidences so it is in these moments that I resonate with being given the subject for a reason.  On some level I connect with the possibility that if I am listening to my inner voice and following my “intuition” the paintings flow in terms of subject matter and process.   Independent of me,  they have their own journey and reason for being.  In that sense I resonate with the idea that I am simply a channel.

How about you?  What are the unique, unexplainable experiences you have encountered with your art work?

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