There is something exceptionally wonderful about art that is made for no purpose other than the urge to make it. Art that is free of theory or market. Art that is driven only by compulsion. To a great extent that is the very definition of art for many. Most artists would fear insanity if they were somehow not able to make art. I know I would be very twitchy! But somehow when one starts studying art, or showing our art, we become conscience of the audience and posterity and some purity is lost. However, saying that, I also must admit, that every painter should know color theory. Photographers should understand the numbers on their lenses, and potters need to know what will happen when the clay gets fired. To think that you can freely express yourself, while fighting with your media is daft. It is finding the middle ground, where expression is enhanced by knowledge and not inhibited by it, that is sometimes an issue.
When I was in grad school (actually not that long ago, because I was a "non-traditional" -i.e. old- grad student), I learned a great lesson from one of my younger colleagues. We were in a print class critique, and I was presenting my work and droning on about color, and process, with a few gems regarding composition thrown into the presentation. Suddenly, he said "I am so !#@%! sick of hearing about all that, just make art!". Well as someone who at that time was teaching design and color, I was initially offended, but then thought about it.
I had thought of his process as "monkey art" - you know, the old 'if you put 10,000 monkeys at a typewriter, sooner or later they will write Shakespeare' type of creation. I had seen him in the studio - music cranked, ink flying, paper grabbed, seemingly without intent. It was a Friday, so over the weekend I went to the studio, cranked up the music, let the ink fly and grabbed endless sheets of whatever paper was there... It was bliss. Complete indulgent, unabashed bliss.
On Monday, I thanked him for reminding me about the art urge.
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !