Art with intention…

Does intent make it better or worse?

While preparing dinner I got caught up in the intention of preparing dinner. Suddenly I was acutely aware that I was holding a knife that was slicing through a vegetable that was going to be eaten for dinner. I was completely aware of that action – I wasn’t thinking about this blog or how Lucy jumped on the counter earlier to lick my empty salad bowl clean (she really is evil). I do think about those things when I’m doing other activities that don’t require my complete attention (washing dishes, cleaning, etc…). When my hands are working, I will allow my mind to play in the dirt in work clothes.

Once I became aware of being aware (strange feeling, isn’t it?) I thought about the process of creating artwork. I will let my mind do what it wants while my hands move to make lines that eventually become a picture. Other times I am exacting and fully engaged in what I’m making. Everything is done with intent. I’ve noticed that even though my pieces start out as mindless doodles, if I incorporate myself into the work, it develops a purpose. It becomes an intention. The process turns into a very powerful thing.

It’s easy for me to spot my intended pieces while looking over my collection, but not easy for me to see them in others’ work. That leads me to wonder how many other artists work with full intent or toss some colors on a surface to produce their work? Or maybe each of us has a mixture of works – a pile of mindless writings next to a pile of purposeful prose or a canvas closet full of magnificence and future-DIY-bulletin boards (I did that!)?

I’m curious about this. Probably because I’m nosey.


  1. I don’t plan mine at all, which surprises people. Once I start planning how the designs will cover the item, and try to orchestrate the process somehow, it gets “messed up” in my eyes. I place flexible parameters around how much design I plan to put onto an item, and how far up or down or wide it will go, but I never map it out beyond that.

    1. It Does Art says:

      I know just what you mean – it might be easier to just start without planning and if a plan comes out of it, that’s okay. Kind of like working backwards, I suppose.

      Especially with the work you do, I imagine creating a sort of blueprint would really screw up your process and the pieces wouldn’t look like they do. They would become forced and that is never a good look for anything.

      Having an idea of placement, but being otherwise open is most efficient, I think!

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