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Your actions have consequences

Exploring the Consequences in Art

Rejecting labels

“I do not like labels” is said very often. I have said many times concerning my art or even my person. It even has consequences, as unconscious as they may be. Sometimes consequences go unnoticed; sometimes, they are blaring reminders of bad behavior or our primal lusts. For the intent of this article, I will focus on the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious consequences of several examples of my paintings and art.

Automatism and the Action of Consequence in Creative Expression

Some call it Automatism, which has recently become known as the action of consequence when referring to my own art. First, let us look at the difference between the two outcomes when anyone endeavors to create art, albeit painting, music, acting, directing, etc. The famous art critic Dave Hickey described the two outcomes impeccably in his essay about the Late Paintings of Francis Pacabia. He wrote that Picabia thrived, or dwelt, “Passionately in the realm of consequences rather than intentions.”

The Shift from Intention to Consequence in Artistic Creation

Most art we see these days is the result of intentions. The question cannot be asked, “what are the intentions of our action” without inferring just that; the purpose. The question concerning these paintings of mine is, “what are the consequences of my actions?” So, whether I had a good day, a bad day, or just a mediocre day will impact the direction and outcome of each painting I do. When I begin a painting, I have no intention or idea of what it will look like when I am done. There is no sketch. They are, simply put, “consequences of my actions”.

Discipline and Effort in Perfecting One’s Craft

Just like a weight lifter, a person practicing yoga, or a student learning to become a doctor, the amount of effort they put into studying or discipline matters. The weight lifter does the exercises precisely and regularly, and the consequences of those actions result in a better-sculpted body or muscles. The person training to be a Yoga instructor must practice and perform hours of stretching and discipline to get the results, or consequences, of months or even years of training. The pre-med student has to undertake years of education, ending in even more years of hands-on training to become a doctor. The consequences of those actions may save someone’s life one day. In all three scenarios, the effects of the actions toward the discipline result in a perfected craft or art.

Deliberate and Random Consequences of Actions

So, let’s point out: There is a difference between two types of consequences of actions. There are deliberate actions intended to create results, as described in the last paragraph. The student studies (action) and becomes a doctor (consequence). Then there are the unknown everyday consequences of random interaction with the world. An example of this would be you were held up 5 minutes later at word than you intended (the action), and on your way home, you missed being in a deadly car wreck by five minutes (the consequence). The latter example we are not concerned with.

The Interplay of Conscious, Preconscious, and Unconscious Choices in Art

When one looks at my paintings, one sees the direct result of 30 years of painting, practicing, and disciplining myself to create something new and passionate. That is the action. The action is the effort I put into making the art, the tubes of paint I select, the colors I choose, and the brushstrokes I start a painting off with. All these factors and more contribute to each piece of art I create. People often ask me what my paintings mean. I respond that they are just the consequences of actions on that particular day. Those consequences directly relate to my hands and mind’s conscious, preconscious, and unconscious direction.

My conscious mind will choose a color. My preconscious mind will create an image representing my encounter with a lady that day. My unconscious mind is using paint that was made 70 years ago.