Susan Blackmon


Open Inquiry


As I have attempted to create artistic work over the years, I’d curiously considered well-known artists’ espoused reasons and driving motivations for doing so. The explanations are as numerous as are artists.

Artists most often mention that their art-making is for self-expression -forthcoming and entwined into the act of making; other artists insist that their purpose in creating isn’t about duplication/rote realism, or even an appreciation of beauty, but instead feel that their creations should be about resistance to cultural conditioning or agendas, either specifically or loosely providing commentary on social structures.

My reasons for exploring the question of why personally, posits that painting isn’t for merely creating something beautiful to look at and/or to elicit intrigue, but transpires from a standpoint of open inquiry.
Particularly, the creative act or move is compelled by the crucial, non-language based intuitive sensation; feelings about experience are elucidated, relayed to the viewer, by the medium used and by the marks.

When open to the deeply ephemeral type of seeing and of sensing, whatever flows from this openness is “let out” by the hand, and flow seems to happen within a kind of feedback loop.

In 1993, when asked for explanation as to his works’ impetus, Jonathan Lasker distilled a similar recognition as to an intrinsic and felt openness as critical, stating that his works

“came always as a foil for expressions of the human hand and psyche…Paint bears physical record to the expression of the human hand. It conforms to the trail of the brush being driven by impulses of the psyche. In no other art medium is creation more permanently and intimately bound to the movements of the human body. Nowhere is the human more empowered to have a direct and immediate effect on the image of his world…I am deeply involved with the textures of a medium capable of universalizing so much lost intimacy. “

This urge within the artist towards allowing one’s intuitive compass, being the most fundamental of any reason which begs the action to create, to find its outlet of expression, encourages and compels one to keep going and to see the ordinary as replete with possibilities.

Susan J. Blackmon