I will write here some from my experience and about my conviction as an artist.
I started as an artist by looking around me and trying to draw what I saw.
Art is certainly about seeing Hashgacha.
The artist (traditionally) plants himself in one place and looks around him. A true searcher of meaning of life will not set up a still life, rather paint (his painting, picturing) that which is already around him.*
* For if I set things up the way I want, how do I have a chance of seeing the way things are before “I entered the scene?” If I am always arranging things according to my sensibilities, I will never truly see beyond myself as the beginning point of everything, Heaven forbid. The artist’s goal is to stand outside of the flow of life (as stated further on in this essay), in order to see and picture things as they are, without personal interest. Otherwise, what possible true value can one’s work have for another?
This process leads one to ponder: how did this get here? And this? (in the process of struggling to picture the objects around him, his mind is led to consider: how did this object come to be here, in this location, in this position; also about the object itself: what is it? etc., endless questions. One also considers the place where he is now sitting for a long time, the light, etc., endless ponderings)
He sees that everything has a history, some human motivation behind all that is “placed” there around him; the child’s sock on the floor, the chair that is exactly in this position, as left exactly by the person who last moved it. (For the artist, everything is exact. The person who abandoned his chair in exiting from the room didn’t attend to the fact that the chair was left at a 16 degree angle to the table—what is the difference? But for the artist, the difference means everything,) the wall that the architect designed, etc. etc.
From this one comes to recognize two things: one: that every human action leaves, in its wake, a roshem, an imprint, an exact imprint of the action as it was performed. (Thus one must take heart; every thought, every slight movement, makes an impression above, for good or…) second: we learn that everything is the way it is because of a previous cause. From this, one ponders further until he understands that there is a First Cause, blessed is He, who precedes all causes. He recognizes that all proceeds from the First Cause. All is here only from the First Cause; exactly as He plans, as He wants it.
All is exactly as He wants it. (There is no other reality) All has importance, because this (everything that exists, anything that I might come to ponder) is what He wants. The simplest pile of dust has history and is full of importance and meaning; because He wants it.
Thus an artist has to come to see. The artist stands outside of the flow of life in order to ponder what is here. In the flow of life, one cleans up the pile of dust, or leaves it; but the true artist ponders it and thinks about from where it came to be like this; that is has meaning; because of the One who wanted it this way.