A very charming student from a local college visited me in my studio a few weeks ago, as they had to choose a living artist whose work they liked on whom to write a paper. She had literally twenty questions to ask me. One of the questions, the last one, stopped me in my tracks because of the response it engendered from me.
The most ordinary little question took me stumbling down a new path of understanding about myself, my art, and how it felt to be an artist.
She asked me, “Where do you get your inspiration?”.
I answered immediately with the first words that materialized, and as I said them I knew they were, for me, completely true: “Inspiration is irrelevant”.
She looked somewhat surprised, so I went on to explain my assertion to her. Each painting I create is a distillation of my experiences of perceiving and existing, they are my answer and reaction to simply being. My creative process requires me to cull and sculpt my possible artworks down to the chosen few that I can achieve in a day/week/month/year/lifetime. Being an artist fulfills every aspect of who I am and I am an artist every second.
There is a section in the book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark where the author describes Nature as writing questions and answers continually in the skies, and stones, and trees and grasses for those who can decode the language.
My ‘inspirational’ or creative process feels like a dialogue between the collection of experiences that comprise myself as well as my immutable core, and the lines, form, colors and light in the natural world.
She speaks, and I answer. I question, she replies.
I have no idea what she has told me or what I have replied on any conscious level, but each painting is a record of our conversation.
>> Artist Deborah T. Colter has written her response to this post. Please visit her site to read it!<<
>>Artist Roslyn Dames has written about inspiration in response to my post. <<
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