Inspiration comes from?

Inspiration – Wikiquote says that inspiration is a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast and eternal knowledge, it exceeds reason more perfectly than reason exceeds the knowledge of the senses. I absolutely love this quote ♥ and that there already inspires me, not sure what to do with this small river of brightness but at least I have one, right? 😀

The other day my cousin asked me: “Where do you get your inspiration from?”

He was referring to my paintings and I did have a quick answer for him. But thinking about it after our talk I decided to goggle that question, of course there are sooo many sources. One YouTube video that I stumbled on had a whole 463 views and the guy spoke in a very slow sleepy voice, slide presentation with bubbles and lots of writing. I listened to about two long minutes and I didn’t feel very inspired listening to that.

Then I found this quirky article from New York Times Magazine (September, 2012) The Inspiration Issue

The whole feature is about artists, actors, writers and musicians, lots of inspirational stories from all of them. And in summary this is what they say – Step 1: Work. Step 2: Be frustrated. Step 3: Repeat. Most of all, try again, repeatedly!

I think inspiration is very different for everyone. We might all have one or two sources in common but we get it from different things, sights and smells. For me some inspired moments and ideas come from nature, reading, movies, ocean, galleries, my boys…oh my list is long, sort of endless.

“Where do I get my inspiration from?” referring to my artistic side 😀 my answer was about my art class. I only go once a week, on a Wednesday. There are classes in the morning, afternoons and then three evenings in the week. So by the time I walk in on Wednesday evening I see lots and lots of different paintings hanging on the walls, drying and at different stages and this is what I see….INSPIRATION

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Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous “I don’t know.”

_ Wisława Szymborska The Poet and the World (1996) Nobel lecture

Inspired by faith

Some time ago, I was working on a small article for our church newsletter when I found some interesting facts about old art masters.  My title was ‘Because God Sees’ it’s a long piece that I can’t repeat here, but here is a small portion of that article –

Europe has so many cathedrals everywhere, every single country has at least one great cathedral and they are magnificent! However, do you know that for most of those cathedrals:

No one can say who built them there are no records of their names. The builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. Their passion was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. No great cathedrals will ever be built again in our lifetime because no one is willing to sacrifice to that degree.

This is what inspired my next painting. I immediately thought of a beautiful picture I had of Jesus, and decided then that I would paint it.

I find it very difficult to paint people, and this painting was no easy task. I had some faith that I would be able to complete it and hope and prayed I could do it justice….I prayed about this painting.

It gave me heartache, headache, back and neck ache as I struggled and stood at strange angles and sat in strange positions. What stress! So glad it is done, as I struggled through this one I thought of the little faith I have, the faith I do have in small things and seeing where my strength lies. Determined not to give up I finished it.

*sigh* I hope I did it justice!

Dolphin Tale and me

We watched Dolphin Tale tonight. I cried my eyes out. If this movie does not bring tears to your eyes then we need to check if you are human; I know cry too easily, but still I am sure I am not the only one. Firstly it’s what people to do animals that saddens me…and then there are humans with so much love and compassion that they put a prosthetic tail on a dolphin!? But what really got my attention and touched me is how the dolphin behaved just like people do when they try a prosthetic for the first time, her tantrums in this movie were so similar to human tantrums.

And that made me think of myself and how in a simple thing like what I’m painting now, I sometimes feel like I will never get it right. I almost feel like having a little tantrum of my own. I can’t paint this! It’s too difficult! It’s ugly! I don’t want to do it anymore!

Right as if I have any reason to complain or say I can’t when I have these little cards in my art file of artists that paint with a brush in the mouth. Beautiful paintings they make holding a brush in their feet! (The mouth & foot painters)

So that bought me right back to reality, the dolphin can swim and survive with a prosthetic tail, people learn to run marathons on blades, and artists inspire me with a brush in the mouth or foot…I can do it, I can paint and will finish this painting and I better make a good job of it.

*sigh* having said that I really am struggling with this one, I think I need to watch the movie one more time before I take it back….