Main Concepts in “Art is a Way of Knowing” – Part I

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Here are main concepts in Part I- Beginnings, from the Book – Art is a Way of Knowing by Pat Allen. This is only a tool while reading the book. All intellectual thought and copyright belongs to the author.


Beginnings – Part I

  • Art making is a way to explore our imagination and begin to allow it to be more flexible, to learn how to see more options. The major problem for most of us is that we allow fear to stop the imagination before it really begins to work. Our fears exist to protect us from what we imagine to be harmful. We need to respect their purpose, to see our fears without allowing them to control the great potential of the imagination. (Pg 4)
  • Notice what comes up. Sometimes simply shifting our focus to images rather than immersion in our inner dialogue can be a means of achieving relaxation. It is a goalless opportunity for the mind to rest and replenish. At odd moments, practice this skill by choosing to focus on a particular image, then consciously I’m letting it go. It is particularly helpful for relaxation to focus on images of beauty in nature. If your energy is depleted, try focusing on flowers, trees, plants, the sky. Allow yourself to rest in the beauty of what you see, and let that perception replenish your energy. These are very simple means of achieving awareness.
  • We received many versions of where we came from and who we are. Using the image making process, we can explore our many layers, loosen outdoor and ideas, and try out new images for ourselves. We in our world created by others, but we can also create and recreate our world through ART making. (Pg 10-11)
  • The important thing is to notice whether music helps relax or involve you and increases your enjoyment of the art process. Sometimes just the hum of the refrigerator, birds chirping, or beating rainstorm is enough. Begin to notice what pleases you. Experiment and play with sound as an aspect of your space. (Pg 13)
  • A good way to ease into the image process or to participate in it when you have little time, is to feed your reference box. ..Your box can contain absolutely anything and, like the images, become a reference file is starting points as well as they cache of materials and a way to get to know your own personal aesthetic. (Pg 13-14)
  • Like any other form of practice, aren’t making takes time. The amount of actual doing time can’t be prescribed, as it will be different for each person. The image making time, if only for one or two hours once a week, can be greatly enhanced by the incidental time of just looking at what’s been done, just noticing and getting to know the fullness of the image. This looking also serves to motivate.
  • Clear intention is as important as space and materials. This is the spiritual aspect of art-making. Your intention can be simply to have the courage to experiment, or it could be wanting to learn about a problem you are facing. When I enter my art space, I try to have the clearest intention possible to accept whatever comes to me. I trust that the images I need, the knowledge I need, exist within me and that I can access it through this process. To Signal my intention, I sometimes light a candle or a stick of incense before I begin, to Mark the time of direct image making. Other times I simply sit in my space or do the tours of cleaning and straightening up to make ready for the time to work. My overall intention is to come to know the source of wisdom and guidance within me. Space and materials are the outward manifestation of my intention.
  • Once you feel comfortable with the materials, the process can we use anytime you required guidance, feelings needs sorting out, or problems arise. Aren’t making is a way of dwelling in whatever is before us that needs our attention. There is a universal tendency to turn away from difficulty. Image making allows for staying with something while making that stain variable through the pleasure available in the use of the materials.
  •  it isn’t necessary to try to make a picture about the problem semicolon you have only two for my clear intention to know something and then simply take up the materials and begin. Starting with Justin Mark, continue until the image says it is finished. Usually, I have forgotten the attention while I’m immersed in working. When I sit back and look at the image, I recall the intention, and through focusing my attention I get an idea of what, if anything, I need to do next. Sometimes focusing my attention on the image revokes a great deal feeling. I may have been avoiding some sinus or disappointment semicolon tears may come. That is all part of the process. Feel what comes in Let It Go. Doubts and judgments will arise. You may at times feel silly or lost. So I simply to notice those feelings and let them pass. The important thing is to begin.

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