I had an unexpected experience, recently. My friend, somebody with a good eye for art and excellent taste, berated me for not removing the droopy flowers from my FarmVille farm. These are not real flowers and this is not a real farm. These are computer-rendered images of flowers that you can get rid of by simply turning the computer off. What was bugging my friend was that the droopy flowers did not look right and they were bugging her.
So this, to me, speaks volumes about the strength and depth of that feeling that we call the aesthetic sense. The desire for beauty and harmony was so strong in my friend that she needed to say something to me, so that I would restore the balance.
I think it might be fair to say that the internal dialogue that goes on in an artist’s head, while they are creating their work, is not so much a conscious decision to go forth and create beauty. I doubt if they are at all times thinking of the emotional impact and content of their work, or how it will affect their audience. It has been suggested by the late E.H. Gombrich, author of the seminal “The Story of Art”, that what goes through the mind of the artist most, during the act of creation, is the simple question: “is it right?”
I think there is something to that. “Right” seems to be such a small word, but actually it represents the unconscious, holistic, totality of the artist’s aesthetic sense. They only know when it looks, sounds, feels or reads “right” (depending on their chosen art) when they experience a sense of harmonious peace, while pondering their own work. Before they reach that state of grace, the artist struggles against the limitations of their medium and their skill to try to make their work “right”. This is the eternal internal frustration that the artist strives to resolve, or so it seems to me.
Trust in your instinctual feeling of when your work is “right”. If it feels right, it probably is right. Your aesthetic sense is remarkably powerful.
I think that the aesthetic sense perhaps rivals hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell in its importance to the human condition and in its power to move us profoundly!