Dew on Foxtail Grass head        (c) 2018  Paul Grecian

At some point every artist grapples with the question of what is art. I’ve had several working definitions which have ultimately been less than satisfactory. As I have spent more years in the creation of new works, and have read more about art history and theory, I have become more ambivalent as to whether a definition of art is even possible.

One aspect of making art that has really struck me is how dependent I am on having creation time. When I go too long without making new work, a sort of depression comes over me. I’ve known this for some time, but have only recently tried to figure it out. I have come to the conclusion that two different factors are involved. One is the actual creative process, for me that means the making of new images. Science has already shown that the creation process activates reward centers of the brain. The second factor is the aesthetic pleasure I gain from experiencing the world through the creation process. I need aesthetic experiences! Through the process of making images, I experience the world in an amplified aesthetic way. In fact, I believe this second factor is the driving force for me more than any particular need to create.

For me then, art is the expression of the aesthetic pleasure I gain from experiencing the world through the creation of art! That makes art rather like a tautology.

For the image above, which I made just yesterday, my experience of seeing the sun light reflect and refract through the dew drops was magnificent. As I made each new image I felt exhilarated and a sort of secret satisfaction that I was privy to something unique. It is important to me that my tools don’t get in the way, so for this type of close-up macro work I really enjoy working with Olympus Micro Four-Thirds gear and specifically their 60mm f2.8 macro lens.

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