Inspiration for painting comes from many sources-
- First Nature-
The first and most obvious for me is our natural world. I am captivated by the subtle play of ambient light on objects both inside and out of doors. I love landscapes and gardens, flowers and birds. I have also become fascinated by the human figure and the stories I see in faces. (Now can I ever live long enough build the skill to do portraits?… Has anyone yet discovered the fountain of youth?!!!)
- Then there is music-
Outside or when working on location the environment itself provides the background noise or music. I love painting near moving water or among trees for that reason. In the studio I often play Reba’s #1s, her 30 best hits. I like the steady beat. Since I now know the lyrics pretty much by heart I don’t have to be distracted by trying to listen too acutely. In a similar fashion collections of Enya’s best provide the right kind of constant beat for yoga practice, something which has become essential for me. Music is my energy source; it can be guitar, hammered dulcimer, country and western, early renaissance, baroque, or whatever WMNR comes up with. However, I do find that classical-romantic music, that from Beethoven on, can be distracting as it has too much to say of its own.
- And the work of other artists provides so much inspiration-
In my quest to use watercolor more sympathetically a contemporary water-colorist has become one of my inspirational mentors. See his work on:
I have favorite painters, John Singer Sargent, Turner, and Corot to name only a few of many, and Photographers, and poets including Rubert Brooke, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Frost, Celia Thaxter, and many more. Movies are also a source of thought and sometimes inspiration. “North by Northwest” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” my most recent movie picks, are still reverberating in my mind. I feel that I know these people and some of them very well or too well indeed. They may end up in a painting. I would love to paint to/for poems and someday even to classical music.
- And then there are loved ones and friends-
There is so much to do and so much to look forward to when inspiration comes. I have my “New Day” to Thank for helping me move toward these goals. One must hang onto that golden thread of hope, practice change, and stand up for what matters. The world is a beautiful if challenging place. As the poet, May Sarton, is quoted to have said: “Yes. (I am writing again) Because I have a Muse again…Poetry (read Painting) is a gift; you can’t make it on will…. It doesn’t matter if I go to bed with her or not.” Sarton then continued, as I also would; “with me it’s the Muse who causes poetry (and painting) by focusing the world. Focusing the world-Yes! That is what occurs for me. So thank you, my dear Muse. Please stay with me. You help me see and feel the world with greater intensity and in more depth than ever before. It is a gift from heaven.
Angel in the dust