Letting Go

by | Aug 26, 2012 | 3 comments


Letting go blog post illustration of flowers painted in Sumi-e style.
“Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties” 
Gail Sheeh
The artist spends years  learning skills and techniques and through trial and error, develops a unique language of expression. This requires devotion and many hours of work. Eventually, this language becomes beyond logic, and  part of the body’s intelligence. Instead of relying on this knowledge and letting go of control, many artists still try to plan, overthink and overanalyze, and as a result end up with lifeless artwork.
There are however some people that haven’t spend time on developing skills and techniques of expression. However they have the ability to let go and let “accidents” happen. They  often do come up with some interesting vibrant work, but unfortunately lacking integrity and consistency.
We need skills to create, but we must learn to trust that those skills will support us when we surrender to the unexpected. Only then  can we really create.


  1. DA

    While skill is not art, yet art does require the development of skill in order to capture expressions across the spectrum of one's experiences and communicate with an audience.

    And, yes, an audience must learn the artist's language, the code and symbol that form the vocabulary of the artist, in order to engage a conversation and be able to appreciate the work and the thoughts, ideas and emotions expressed therein.

  2. MT McClanahan

    Lilith you so speak directly to me so often. "Overanalyze" is my middle name! This post makes be ask, with Sumi-e, is "drawing" instruction needed beforehand–learning about form, value, etc?

  3. Lilith Ohan

    No, composition, value, dimensions… are all from western art/aesthetics vocabulary. This form of art is not interested/preoccupied with the description, the photographic representation of the subject, but the spirit, the energy it transmits. I find it easier to teach someone with no art schooling background. One will need to learn to see and the way/control of the brush though…..and lots of practice.


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