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No More Secondhand Art: Awakening the Artist Within

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Approaching Creativity From A Relaxed, Meditative, Thoughtful Place

    In Peter London's No More Secondhand Art: Awakening The Artist Within, he states, "We have learned to be embarrassed by our efforts. We have learned to feel so inept and disenfranchised from our own visual expressions that we simply cease doing it altogether." As a society, we have lost touch with our creative essence, a part of us that emerges from our most spiritual and pure existence. Our inner critic hisses at us as we try something new, some form of creative expression, and we shut down our inherent spiritual nature, a mechanism that allows us to bring magnificent creativity into the world while at the same time healing our souls.

    Critical to London's examination is the creative process as a journey. So often, we are wrapped up in the end product, in production and efficiency, and we forget to enjoy the journey along the way. London would argue that creativity and artistic expression are about the journey. What results as an end product is simply the culmination of the most important part of the experience. Through well-defined strategies, London encourages his readers to step outside of the normal way of viewing the world and to see things in a new light. Let the mind guide the hand, he advises, as you allow your visual imagination to guide you in artistic endeavors. Too often, we look too structurally or literally and try to reproduce exactly what we see. London suggests we relax and play, he says lighten up and lose yourself in the creative process.

    Fascinating is London's take on abstractionism versus realism. He explains, "I would have you consider the view that all art is abstract as much as all art is representational." Although we make look at a realistic piece of art and interpret it as exact imagery, it is, in fact, an abstract representation of how a particular image inspired and moved the artist. Also, he explains, abstract art can be representative of actual feelings, emotions, and objects. This section of the book is a good summation of the entire work: Think differently about artistic creativity, and you can produce unimaginable and beautiful works of art.

    The "creative encounters" London describes are actual exercises he has designed that exemplify the concepts in the first half of the book. His exercises may seem strange to artists taught through traditional methods and include everything from painting with your eyes closed to designing and using masks to exploring the yin and yang in art by imitating both male and female forces during the creative process.

    London prefers the term "media" to the use of the term "art supplies." "Media are those things that stand between imagination and expression, between the mind and the act, the hand and the canvas." By approaching art and creativity from a spiritual, meditative, and thoughtful realm, London believes what will ultimately result is the production of truly inspired original works of creative expression.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 15, 2010

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