Without Words

by | Jul 30, 2012 | 4 comments


Does opinion restrict the creative process blog illustration of woman reclining
“Having opinion is closing yourself from seeing the life’s full potential”. Aristotle

As soon as one puts a name or explanation to anything, one blocks it in that space and stops all of its other possibilities. Words are man’s main method of expression, but they don’t really describe the true essence of things.   When one uses words to define something, immediately one limits the definition.

The art galleries provide audio guides that one can listen to while viewing the artwork. I always wonder if people that are  listening to it actually see the artwork or they are seeing the image based on the messages they hear.

So how do we interpret art? Is it from the historical, aesthetic, logical or personal point of view? What do we use for this interpretation? Or should we interpret it?

It is our mind’s preoccupations with interpretation that does not allow us to see beyond limitation of words.

As landscape artist J.R Baldini quoted, “I believe painting or visual art is suffocated by verbal description”.

Myself, I believe life is suffocated by it.

If we could see without words… how much richer the world would be.



  1. Paula Kuitenbrouwer

    Lilith, your post as well as your drawing with a minimum of lines are both wonderful. And I fully agree with you.
    Kindest greetings from Paula

  2. Carl Abbott

    I see our penchant for "our mind's preoccupations with interpretation" as a result of our need (propelled by core fear) to arrange the 'facts' to suit our emotional biases… mostly social/tribal at the core. We create stories, and hang on to them (beliefs) to wall ourselves off from the unknown wilderness 'out there'.

    Part of this is also a symptom of a natural need to know. Because cognition works so marvelously well for manipulating the physical world (planning, innovation, etc.) we naturally expect it to sort out the deeper mystery of life we face. I guess I'm guilty of that each time I open my mouth, for the meanings to which I assign my very words are the foundation of interpretation.

    I might differ slightly with your comment "If we could see without words… how much richer the world would be". It is appealing on the face of it. However, I can also make a case for our use of words as being a result of seeing a far "richer" world. The mystery blows our mind and we use words to tame it. At a deeper level, it could be that our use of words separate us from the extemporaneous 'now', and the resulting tension this creates exposes us to a "richer" world that blows our mind… etc. Interpretation gives us the illusion of thinking we know, which keeps the lid on sanity. Realizing we don't know helps remove the need of that lid. But, such a realization is only possible when we are inwardly emotionally secure enough to face the unknown honestly.

  3. Lilith Ohan

    Thank you for reading my blog and your comments. Beautifully thought and written! Obviously "words" are your means of expression and you are very good at it. As far as I am concerned, I find they get in the way, especially when I create. Just like everything else – the opposites will affirm each other…. Isn't life beautiful!?


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