How an Artist is Like a Tree: Paul Klee on Creativity - Deepstash

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The artist and trees

The artist and trees

Trees have enchantment and self-clarification to artists.

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way,” wrote William Blake.

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Paul Klee likens the artist to a tree

Paul Klee likens the artist to a tree

In a 1924 lecture about the creative process, German artist Paul Klee has insightfully intersected the canon of sylvan metaphors with the canon of theories of creativity.

"The artist has studied this world of variety and has, we may suppose, unobtrusively found his way in it. His sense of direction has brought order into the passing stream of image and experience. This sense of direction in nature and life, this branching and spreading array, I shall compare with the root of the tree.

From the root the sap flows to the artist, flows through him, flows to his eye."

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The work of art is not a direct translation of the subconscious

The work of art is not a direct translation of the subconscious

Klee cautions that It is rather the work of transmutation for which the artist is both the agent and the vessel:

"Nobody would affirm that the tree grows its crown in the image of its root. Between above and below can be no mirrored reflection. It is obvious that different functions expanding in different elements must produce divergences.

[...] And yet, standing at his appointed place, the trunk of the tree, he does nothing other than gather and pass on what comes to him from the depths. He neither serves nor rules — he transmits."

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CURATED BY

jacksonee

Coffeeaholic ☕️ Music junkie. Avid reader.

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