The San Miguel Artist Project: A Grounded Theory of "The Emergence of Wonder"

Gordon Medlock
This article employs classical grounded theory methodology to explain the creative process of artists. Two integrally connected core variables are identified: emergence and wonder. Wonder represents the experience that motivates and sustains the creation of works of art, and emergence the process by which the sense of wonder is progressively embodied in the content and form of the work. The theory describes a number of distinct phases, including the experience of wonder, immersion in artistic
more » ... actice, conceiving a specific work or project, composing the work, presenting the work for an actual or potential audience, and finally moving-on. These phases involve a dynamic stream of recursive processes-sketching, refining, connecting, channeling, and assessing-that ultimately facilitate the emergence of wonder in artistic works. The theory of the emergence of wonder also appears to apply to the research processes of both grounded theory methodology and phenomenology, suggesting that these two research methodologies are more similar and have more in common with the artistic creative process than is commonly acknowledged.