I'd like to share an excerpt from "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" by Wassily Kandinsky, published in 1914. I feelfound that his visual representation of the job of the artist, as he describes it, is particularly helpful when I try to understand my place in this world as an artist. Kandinsky, who might seem a bit antiquated today, was a visionary in his own right. As an artist, he methodically focused his internal lens to paint what came up in a semi-logical and abstract manner. As a writer and thinker, he was looking to understand just what it is that makes up art if it isn't to be a reproduction of the physical world or a regurgitation of spiritual/mythical symbolism.
I've heard people say: but his work is just lines, circles, and weird mish-mashes of color. Think of his work as the first few steps into (or out of) the lucid imagination. His work is part of those early tentative steps into the creative sub/unconscious - into the whole of the inner world. This was a new thing, a new experience, at the time- this painting what you feel instead of what you see, think, or believe. Those first tentative muddlings that grew into precise diagrammatic explorations with a host of attendant essays and diagrams helped to lay the ground work for the hosts of art movements and internal explorations that came after, giving free reign (as we do now) to our collective human creative explorations.