Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"intention" Illustration Friday March 2/2012

- inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:

"Intention involves such a small fragment of our consciousness and of our mind and of our life".
- Jasper Johns

This quote and what it seemed to be saying sloshed around in my mind every which way I turned this past few days.

Really?? REALLY?!??

That seems a bit like saying gasoline is such a small fragment of a car. Hardy necessary for car-ishness, except, of course, for the 'transportation' part of a car. Negligible, really.

Can't really judge a quote this brief - perhaps Mr. Johns is saying that we need to exercise other aspects of our selves, our consciousness, mind and life, and not worry so much about intention. I'd like to ask if this was what he intended with his words. Perhaps it is, like art when it is finished and available for view, that the intention might be less important than the interpretation of those who see it. Perhaps. I wonder...

...as I wonder how far Itzhak Perlman would have come as a violinist without intention. His own, his parents', SOMEONE's intention was that the thing be taken out of its case, tuned, the bow rosined and then stuck under his chin - day after day and year after year until, I wonder now, is it part of him, and can he even imagine putting it aside?

The mind wanders without intention - and yet our intention shapes those thoughts as we become aware of them. Intention is the self directing aspects of the inner orchestra, to play louder, softer, longer... and the music we create, the lives we live, the imprint of our consciousness on our own lives and those around us, is a creation of our intention - what we allow to flourish in our selves, the words we speak, actions we take.

Intention is perhaps the opposable thumb of the mind. We're pretty nifty creatures, even without it. But calling it a small fragment of who we are?


  1. Such a thoughtful post! I think you're right about intention being the gas for the car. Thanks! You've given me things to think about today :)

  2. I enjoyed your post & clever drawing! (We have captured a few mice the past weeks, too - ugh!) I have never thought about intention as motivation but it certainly is! Thanks for sharing...

  3. What a wonderful post! Intention does form that spark that becomes reality. :) Clever concept!

  4. I sure enjoyed your pondering ... I felt witness to your creative mind and comforted in that we all go through the same process. But, what will become of this tiny mouse dangling it's tail? Buttercup (my mouse) is quite concerned ... she says it's still a pinkie.

  5. Thanks for the comments, folks. Mardi, I believe a discussion about ownership of peanut-butter will ensue, and arrangements for squeak-to-own will be made. At least a 50-50 proposition will be entertained...

  6. I love this piece! And you're so right about intention being the opposable thumb of the mind!! I hope you don't mind but I just added the comment you left on my drawing to the bottom of my post with a link to your blog? You explained it so well - I feel so much when I'm creating but I often find it near impossible to put into words! But then as you say above, 'when it is finished and available for view, the intention might be less important than the interpretation of those who see it.' Either way, I very much appreciated your interpretation! :)

  7. I like your pondering over this quote, and you are certainly right. Intention is a huge part of our humanity. Intention, self-awareness, conscience, creativity - these are all things that make humans different than animals in an awesome way. Without good intention in wisdom and love, a person runs their course with selfishness. I really like the cross-hatched background on this piece. No mice in my new house (yet), so I'm thankful for that! :)

    Also, interesting you mentioned Itzhak Perlman - have you see my illustration of him? Check it out here: http://crazyladyillustration.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/the-violinist/

    1. THanks for the comments, and the nudge to go see your 'violinist' piece. I'm not sure I was even looking around on I.F. or blogs at that time, or if I was, I was just getting started. The absorption of Perlman in his music really comes across. Never forgot seeing him walk out to stage in Massey Hall when I went to see him on my 17th birthday. Rostropovich is another favourite of mine, so you're batting 300 today!

  8. Very nice hand drawn, very nice statement


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