A recent inquiry regarding the idea of stillness in a work of art got my thinking juices flowing. For me, stillness is when we allow ourselves those moments to be connected to our higher self, or a higher place or source. This connection allows us to leave the realm of physical, material, emotional and instead flow into the universal vastness of “God” (or our own concept of the nonphysical). When we have this connection to our true source, it feels like stillness as we are in a timeless non-physical realm.
True stillness in a work of art comes from the artist and their process – when both are also connected to this higher source. Stillness in a work of art will rarely, if at all, come from a process that is overly mental, overly emotional and too thought out or controlled/contrived. That means there are no real tools, techniques or formulas that would allow this powerful connection to come through the work. Instead, overly mental processes, pinched off from source, create a blocked type of static. A painting is 2 D which by itself encourages a stillness, a time away from the normal reality viewing of our physical world, and propels the viewer into an alternate reality. This is a 2-way street. Artists can make the best work possible, and yet unless the viewer allows a certain amount of time and focus for viewing it, could miss out on all the rich potential in a work of art. So the stillness in a painting requires the connection of the artist in process as well as the viewer.