Where Does Art Come From? An Ethereal Voyage to the Origin of Art

June 27, 2023 3 min read

There is a magical essence inherent in creating art, one that goes beyond the tangible aspects of brushes, canvases, and pigments. My journey as an artist, painting contemporary landscapes filled with joy and wonder, has led me to this undeniable conclusion. My work is my love letter to the world, born out of moments when words fail to capture the breathtaking awe we experience in life's simplest spectacles. But does it come from the great matter between my ears? I don’t think it does. 

When inspiration arrives, it seems to come from somewhere else - somewhere less solid. It has a different frequency to a normal, practical thought. It’s as if the artwork exists as a concept in another place, and is looking for someone to birth it.

I've been influenced by many thinkers in the realm of creativity, but two individuals, in particular, have deeply resonated with my understanding of where art truly comes from - Elizabeth Gilbert, the celebrated author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and Rick Rubin, the legendary music producer and author of “The Creative Act: A Way of Being”.

Gilbert speaks of creativity as an almost divine experience, a sort of communion with an ethereal source. In her groundbreaking work "Big Magic," she shares her perspective that ideas are independent entities, floating in the ether, seeking human partners to bring them to life. It's a concept that invites us to move beyond the ego-centric model of creativity, where we are the sole creators, and embrace the notion that we are, instead, collaborators in the process. She encourages us to follow the breadcrumbs of our curiosity - because this is how inspiration speaks to us. And if we listen, beautiful things are created.

I find this perspective to be transformative. When I’m standing in front of my easel, brush in hand, I am no longer a solitary figure wrestling with the canvas. Instead, I am part of a cosmic dance, working in unison with forces unseen. The landscapes I paint aren't just born from my mind, but from a collaboration with the universe itself. Each stroke is not merely an expression of my vision but a manifestation of a higher idea's desire to be made visible.

Similarly, Rick Rubin's thoughts on creativity offer another layer of understanding to this mystical process. Rubin often speaks of the importance of an 'empty mind' in the creative process. For him, creativity flows most generously when the artist can manage to clear their mind and remove their ego, allowing them to become a conduit for inspiration. He experiences the intrinsic link between the creative act, and connection to consciousness. This concept echoes ancient traditions from around the world, viewing artists as channels through which a higher creative force, an ethereal source, can manifest.

When I approach a blank canvas, it is not an intimidating void to me, but a potential-filled landscape waiting to be discovered. Each colour I blend, each line I paint, isn't so much adding to the canvas as it is revealing what is already there, hidden beneath the surface, wanting to exist. 


Through the lens of these inspiring figures, I see the process of creating art as an act of partnership and discovery. It's not about forcing or constructing, but rather about tuning into the flow, trusting the process, and embracing the joy of revelation. This belief not only frees me from the burden of perfectionism but also fills me with a sense of wonder that I hope translates into each piece I create.

Art has the power to touch souls, to inspire, to fill our homes with joy, and to bring a piece of the ethereal into our everyday life. The paintings you choose to live with are more than just decorations; they are windows into other realms, reminders of the magic that surrounds us. They are the result of a sacred dance between the artist and the universe.

So, the next time you pass by a piece of art in your home, pause for a moment. Consider the dance of creativity that brought it into being, the mystery, the magic, the ethereal sources that collaborated to make it. Feel the joy and wonder it evokes, not just as a viewer, but as a partaker in the magic of creativity. 


In the end, where does art come from? It comes from us, from the universe, from the ethereal source of creativity we tap into. It's a divine language we're all fluent in, a cosmic dance we're all a part of. And that's the magic of art, the specialness of having it in our homes, in our lives, and in our hearts.