Well, it depends. There are two ways of looking at it. Contemplation and action. Contemplation belongs to the inner man. Action is an extension of this inwardness. One needs to wait until one is possessed. It is like religion.A painting is not a painting until one is possessed. A religion which lacks possession is not a religion.
A religion is like painting. It is something to be experienced. This is why it is so uncomfortable to exhibit them. One is turning a private space into a public arena.
What I paint shows both my pain and my pleasure. Was I, and were the pictures, crying out to be looked at and appreciated by others, or was the act of creation enough in itself?
I listened to John Cage's 4. 33” at a concert last week. 4.3 minutes of silence. The pianist sat motionless at the piano.Her fingers outstretched and tense ready to play.The cellist raised his right eyebrow indicating to her that she should start. She sat there and did nothing. The cellist, reflecting her silence, sat motionless again with his arms poised as if to strike the first note.
He is allowing us to experience the silence as a composer, not just a listener.The room was filled with people some of whom were drawn into the silence. It felt like a cathedral. We were held in that state of being that perfect attention creates.
He is allowing the audience to experience the power of silence. The possession, and the action that follows from the possession of silence, and from which compositions are made and played.
What Cage did was to take that private space into a public space. What the audience then did with it was up to them.The silence is there for us all.It comes and goes with one's awareness. One has to listen for it. It can come spontaneously when one is alone, or holding someone one loves, or just by walking in the woods. The point is to be able to recognise it.
There are times in one’s life when one's inner state matches that of the world and there appears to be no way out.There is no starting all over again with a new beginning. One just has to start where one finds oneself, within that silence, and pick up the pieces and start all over again. With art there is always an empty canvas.