The Artist as a Channel: ART TALK with Lucianna Whittle, process-driven artist from Brighton, U.K.
On Wednesday, 9 February 2022, I had an inspiring conversation with Lucianna Whittle, a British artist based in the charming city of Brighton, on the south coast of England. You can listen to my talk with her on this blog, click Podcast > ART TALKS, or on Anchor.fm and Spotify > THE POINTLESS ARTIST PODCAST.
As food for your thoughts and inspiration in your creative process, I've included below a summary of my conversation with Lucianna along with some of her beautiful reflections and insights about the essence of art and of being alive.
Lucianna is a full-time painter and a super mum of two. She's lucky enough to live in the city of Brighton. Yep, that's right, on the sea (lots of sea swimming all year round!) and in the heart of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive artistic community, where, to quote Lucianna, "whoever you are, you can be that in Brighton".
We discussed her artistic journey, how she sees reality and herself as an artist, and what seeing actually means for her. We also talked about her relationship to music and her approach to painting, as well as about her creative process, sources of inspiration, and understanding of artist block. She revelead the power of transformation, awareness, and consciousness, and the ultimate purpose of her life.
“Becoming an artist didn’t exactly feel like a conscious choice, it was more like: as I was being creative, I was recognising myself and feeling drawn to expression in that way.
“Seeing and listening is the same kind of thing, and if there’s a way of seeing compassionately, that might be a way of describing it.” (Lucianna Whittle)
We touched upon the practice of observational drawing and the discipline of being an artist – attention, stillness, focus among other things.
“Even if I’m drawing a plant or something from life, I’m seeing it in so many layers and so many levels, and trying to get into the aliveness of the thing, and all of the things we might attach to it as an object, but also beyond that.”
“Observational drawing turns off your egoic mind and allows your essence to play.” (Lucianna Whittle)
In my final question, I inquired about what is most important to Lucianna as an artist and a human being. She spoke convincingly about the connection to one’s true self and the significance of deep listening.
“We can have some kind of divine connection to ourselves and live from that place, and engage with the world from that place. That will naturally be a peaceful voice, and it will naturally bring people together, and it will be healing, and it will be inspiring, motivating, and I think that what it takes for us is to want to hear that voice and to prioritise it over all of the other stimuli. I think there’s power in doing that because we’re not so easily manipulated by the big stories.” (Lucianna Whittle)
We experienced a deep connection through a common understanding of life and the art-making process. We share the same compassionate approach to seeing, listening, and creating, as well as a passion for music. And we are equally convinced that seeing from within is the only sustainable and transformative way to experience life and get to the essence of who we truly are.
Lucianna touched me profoundly with her honest, transparent, bright, and compassionate way of being not only an artist but also a human and a loving mother of two wonderful girls.
“It’s kind of indistinguishable being an artist and being a mother because they’re both who you are so you can’t step into either role and then step out. There are also parallels between my hopes for the outcome of my children and my hopes for the outcome of my paintings: I want them both to have the best chance of being exactly who they are, who they’re supposed to be, what they’re supposed to bring to the world and I see my job is just kind of providing a context, a kind of fertile environment for them to become.” (Lucianna Whittle)
Lucianna is a wise and, at the same time, a remarkably modest being who sees herself as a channel of artistic creativity coming from a source much higher than her ego. This, I believe, is one of the reasons why her message is so strong and clear, and her ability to make others see is so evident.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” (E. Degas)
I wholeheartedly invite you to listen to our art talk on my blog > Podcast > Art Talks, Anchor.fm, or Spotify > The Pointless Artist's ART TALKS. Thank you for listening to it till the end. This talk has the potential to transform you. Promise!
Via The Pointless Artist Blog, I support the creative energy of life and the artists who contribute to transforming this world into a freer, kinder, more inclusive, caring, transparent, and compassionate place to live. I firmly believe in the passion for art, the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences, and the power of personal stories to bring us together.
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Recognise your pointlessness and keep creating!
From Germany with love,