"How did the messy person make such beautiful art."
My 4-year-old granddaughter on Jackson Pollock.
There are several layers to this question: One, that Pollock might actually be a messy person (a cursory glance at the history does not reveal the level of veracity of this claim). Two, that his artwork was actually messy, (mmm. maybe). Three, that a four-year-old can confirm that so much of Pollock's work was, in fact, beautiful. How does a messy person make such beautiful art?
Pollock was a pioneer in using alkyd enamel paint, focusing for many years on his "drip method." I don't believe the technique was entirely random, nor that he did not have some level of organization (non-messiness) in his studio. There is nothing worse than being "in the zone" and not being able to access the next absolutely necessary tool or color. But there is something that rises from deep inside the artist that, when allowed to escape, creates beauty, however fiery. Or messy. Pollock's art was called "volcanic."
Somewhat ironically, my granddaughter and I can sit fascinated for long moments watching YouTube videos of acrylic pours. We try to emulate some of this work, and it is a messy project. Evidently my granddaughter is not sufficiently averse to this messiness to help clean up much afterwards. But I digress.
I have heard people say, "What is so difficult about acrylic pours? It's just pouring paint." And another, "Where is the focal point?" Just as so many of us (and I have been guilty of this) think of some artwork, "Even a child could do that," or worse, "Even I could do that." Well, yes, some things are like that. (Just like an American Idol contestant whose immediate social milieu convinces them they are a darlin' and the hottest talent since Elvis, the truth will out on the stage.) But some things that look so simple are indeed dancing into beauty, in an almost inexplicable way.
This is what I desire as I work in the studio. And it feels like it mostly eludes me. There is a good chance that maybe, just maybe, I need to be messier.