The Discipline of All Things Beautiful

A sunset. A picturesque, well-carved coastline meeting gently crashing waves. The stars as they hang in the sprawl of a moonlit sky. The innocent smile of a beautiful girl lost in the comfort of the day. A painting. A song. A verse.

All things beautiful have a rhythm, a reason and discipline to them.

Nothing is quite as important as the soil of our hearts. For from it comes the best of who we are and will be. It is our essence, truly. 

As an artist, or more accurately, creator, the best and most lasting strokes of your brush, imagery of your lyrics, notes in your song, structure of your sentences, life in your photographs and work of your hands will be from the depths of your heart, where your soul is as healthy as the soil in which it rests.

No artist constantly produces lasting, meaningful and influential art from sheer spontaneity. A process happens which may be a strict formula or developed, proven strategy. The more disciplined the artist, the greater the chance for beauty and authenticity to shape the work of her hands. 

Contrary to any impulse or worry that discipline means sacrificing the possible genius and purity of spontaneous creation, consider the beautiful and lasting work of Michelangelo at the famed Sistine Chapel, or the enchanting echo of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Neither of these, nor any other work of relative greatness, is defined by the time it took to create them. They are defined by the heart of the artist, encapsulated forever in their lasting beauty. 

The beauty of the art is recognized, but we cannot overlook the discipline of the artist who created it.

Late nights lonely in thought but wanting to be nowhere else, early mornings working before the day moves and burns bright, in moments of free time an artist is appropriately obsessed with creating. The speed in which she creates is not nearly as important as the pace she keeps. It is a diligent approach set on creating, not a desperate one searching for validation or attention. The quality is nearly always dependent on the health of the soil out of which it blooms. 

How can you keep the soil of your heart healthy, not depleted from creating? Read. Hear. See. Value.

Your hands must be dirty, colored and covered with the soil of your heart as you continually dig deeper and nurture those seeds and dreams buried so purposefully there. Like a gardener who daily tends to what is visible, as well what soon shall be, the artist must regularly develop, nurture and feed her craft. 

Our tendency is to desire genius to happen on demand, and when it does not the supposed genius is diminished. Creativity choked and the artist, that creator set upon releasing the work of her hands to the world, recoils in the shallowing soil of her heart. 

We must tend to and cultivate the soil of our hearts. Push the dirt around. Let the air of experiences and influences wrap around and push through the loosened ground, establishing a good seedbed for ideas to grow. 

Creativity too often is tightly packed in time and the lure of instant gratification to satisfy the constant need of validation, assuring and reminding us that we matter and we are unique. But making us important is not the reason for art or creativity.  Expression, purpose, message and display are worthy reasons, pure enough to preserve and elevate art.

As artists, the soil of utmost importance is developed in observing one masterful Creator whose hand spread beauty across what once was nothing, null and void. The beauty in life that inspires and provokes a unique reflection and response is a product of process, discipline and order. Spontaneity gives way to planning and planting within the soil of our hearts. All that we absorb, sinking into the dirt we continue to cultivate. Lasting and consistent expression blooms. Art and all things beautiful held together and matured through discipline, the habit of keeping a heart healthy.

Guy Delcambre dreams a bit more than does, has more starts than finishes and often thinks too much.  A few things constant, grace, family, mountain biking, the outdoors, writing and wanting to own a cabin in the mountains some day soon.