• Fatima Learn

Is Less Really More?


My experiences as a wife, friend, mother, daughter, sister and Artist has taught me that compromise plays a big role in expectations. In our lifetime most of us try to meet others expectations without having to settle unwillingly. I always look for an acceptable result in everything but in-turn it has affected my willingness to allow uncertainty to happen. I have discovered this even doing my artwork.


Expectation


From an Artist perspective the unwillingness to attempt new things because of being unsure of the result stifles creativity. Actually, it kills creativity. I begin a painting with an expectation in my mind of the result. Not all artists are like that but I am. While developing my artwork I sometimes feel anxiety, joy and a sense of achievement as it progresses. Then sometimes I over do it and after investing a lot of time I tell myself it is not my best work but it will do. I just lowered the bar and compromised with myself. I am not completely happy but I move on to the next artwork. Thus is life. Right? Next thing I know I have a room full of artwork that I can’t even give away.


Lawren Harris is a Canadian Artist who is famous for his painted Canadian landscapes. A lot of his later works were considered abstract as he simplified his palette and shapes. Harris stopped signing his paintings during that time so people would judge the work on its own merit. I don’t think Harris realized that by simplifying his forms he was creating images that became iconic, at least for other Canadian artists like myself.


Finding What Is Important


I believe that Harris mastered the ability to identify what was important to him in the landscape. Then he eliminated everything else. Harris realized that the time-consuming details weren’t important when you can get a stunning result that meets your expectations. Funny how your expectations can be just as valuable to others as it is to yourself.


Identify what is important to you in your art and in life, then compromising is never an option and it achieves true happiness. You just might get more out of your expectations if you simplify them. What are your expectations?


Top image - Google images, Glasses of water

Second Image - Lawren S. Harris, "Lake Superior", circa 1924. Art Gallery of Ontario