“Handle with care” 12×12 in Acrylic and charcoal on paper. 60.00
A common question people ask of artists is “Where do you get your inspiration”? Moments of inspiration come at various unpredicted moments. I most commonly find insight, answers, and inspiration in the moment of half sleep and half wake in the morning before I even open my eyes.
The above pictures illustrate a moment of inspiration I had. I was sitting at the dining table with my husband listening to him talk about work when I just couldn’t stop being drawn to this tulip which was hanging onto it’s petals in the last moments of it’s life while the sun illuminated it from within it seemed. Such a moment of fragility was in front of me. I could have sneezed and it would have dropped it’s petals.
While I mmm-hmmed to my husband still listening if only a little bit, I gently stole away to grab my phone and take a picture. It was a fleeting moment of delicacy captured just in time. Moments later petals began to drop, the last bits of strength in it’s fibers breaking away. That was a moment. The next day I painted “Handle with Care”.
Another eloquent life analogy gifted by a flower and observed at just the right moment in time. That’s creative inspiration.
In in my last post “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, I talked about how creating abstract art is about being brave and letting your instincts come forth. It requires recognizing when the inner critic is lurking and to shoo him away before he starts interfering with your mojo. And some days he is really, really, really persistent. Here are some of the things I catch my inner critic saying.
You’re not a real artist. Art is a selfish indulgence. Why has it taken you so long to come this far? You can’t draw. Now you’ve ruined it. People will see right through you and know you’re a fraud. Your expressions are trite.Seriously, ouch. This is the part that requires bravery. I like to head him off by inviting him in.
I like to think of creative instincts as important impulses to recognize as they come forth. And yes, you have them (see previous post). Now you might be saying I have no idea what you are talking about or I know exactly what you are talking about. When you recognize the creative impulse it’s important not to think too much. For me, it means taking action in my studio and starting the work. I decide in advance that I will not temper the creative impulses that show up and that I will not take heed of my inner critic. It means making random, impulse driven marks with all kinds of materials. It means trusting what you have learned before this moment to come forth at the right time. YES! This is one place where acting on your impulses without thinking it through is embraced! Your work will reward you for acting on your impulses. But not every time, sorry. An art journal or inexpensive paper is a great place to begin this practice. I use materials that I won’t worry about wasting. The creative instinct is curiosity and experimentation.
In retrospect I can look back at all of the ways I have played it safe artistically. Have you learned to be brave and trust your instincts? Are you playing it safe? Are you somewhere in between?