This is something I thought was worth sharing, it is taken from an art newsletter that I receive from "Robert Genn", author of The Painter's Keys which is a great publication for artistic inspiration.
I thought that today's newsletter had a lot of good things to say. It's about Climaxes--and yes, I know some of you might have different ideas about what you want that to be about today... and all Climaxes in life are good... I think this little excerpt will remind you of some things that keep life sweet... no matter who you are, artist, musician or just one who admires beauty and art from afar...
February 20, 2007
Symphonies, movies, plays, novels, songs--all tend to have a
climax. Life and love have climaxes. Climax is one of the
essential life experiences. Without climax, nothing seems to
get anywhere. Climax represents the successful completion of
the story, the denouement of the plot, the reason for all the
effort, the snapshot at the height of the action.
Lots of paintings are short on climaxes. A climax in a painting
means coming to light, a center of interest, a delicate part, a
colour surprise, activation, sudden insight or rebirth, etc. In
the same way that other art forms build a case, foreshadow,
anticipate, disclose and darken before the light, so should
paintings. If you look at the acknowledged great works of art,
you often get the feeling, "Somethin's happenin' here," even if
what it is ain't exactly clear. You may also have noticed some
quite ordinary subjects come with built-in climaxes--mountains,
crashing waves, sunsets, etc. Maybe that's why this sort of
material remains forever popular.
In the subject matter of the creator's choice, it is the
creator's challenge to discover and evoke personal climaxes.
Without them, you may be saying little in your art--and your
work may be dull and uninspiring because of it. Here are a few
ideas to think about:
To have climax, you need quietude.
To have light, you need dark.
To have focus, you need lack of focus.
To have delicacy, you need roughness.
To have surprises, you need plain facts.
To have colour surprises, you need grays.
To have activation, you need blandness.
To have birth, you need death.
These dialectics can be inherent in the subject, planned to be
added in a proposed work, or "found" during the creative
process itself. It is the latter that makes the act of art most
satisfying. By innocently asking the questions, "What if?" and
"What can be?" the artist experiences the climax along with the
art itself and is partner to its happening. This sort of joy is
one of the high sublimations, and when it happens, you cannot
help but shout "Wow!"
PS: "One must always be careful not to let one's work be
covered with moss." (Marc Chagall) "He not busy being born is
busy dying." (Bob Dylan)
Esoterica: Then again, maybe a work with no climax is its own
climax. Such work, by its uniformity and flatness, may suggest
it doesn't need a climax because the work of art itself--the
place or thought it depicts--is the climax. After all, it's the
climax of somebody's wall. Dull though this thought may be,
eternal dullness can be subject matter, and many people these
days seem to need it. Perhaps the point is that life is dull,
even-going, plodding, and without surprises. I've never found
life to be that way--have you?
Current clickback: If you would like to see selected,
illustrated responses to the last letter, "Cheap advice," about
artist's talks and painter crits, please go to:
If you would like to comment or add your own opinion,
information or observations to this or other letters, please do
so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write
Give the gift of the twice-weekly letters. We are currently
snail-mailing a free copy of The Painter's Keys (the book) to
current subscribers who go to the URL below and send us the
names and email addresses of five or more of their
creatively-minded friends. No strings, just a thank-you. We
make it easy. We even send your friends a personal letter to
let them know the twice-weekly connection is from you.
Climax your life. A Premium Listing in the Painter's Keys
Directory is the most effective thing an artist can do to be
tastefully and respectably noticed. This listing--really a mini
web page--costs $100 per year--and we do all the set-up. You
can find out how well it might work for you at
Yes, please go ahead and forward this letter to a friend.
If you think a friend or fellow artist may find value in this
material, please feel free to forward it. This does not mean
that they will automatically be subscribed to the Twice-Weekly
Letter. They have to do it voluntarily and can find out about
it by going to http://www.painterskeys.com
In compliance with the welcome legislation on spamming, our
mailing address is: Painter's Keys, 12711 Beckett Rd., Surrey,
B.C., Canada, V4A 2W9.
(c) Copyright 2007 Robert Genn. If you wish to copy this
material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for
permission by writing firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for your