A friend of mine recently asked me a question most artists get asked quite often. The question was, “What inspires you to paint?” As I am not someone who can easily come up with quick answers, especially to what I think is an important question. I thought about it for awhile and it seems that maybe the answer is not as simple to answer as one might think.
Inspiration can come from anywhere or everything and anything but for me I think the reverse is true. Its more like, I paint to be inspired. I start a painting without really knowing where or what direction I am going just searching for something to give me a spark of creation or inspiration.
I mean, for me there seems to be more of a need to begin a painting, to be actively creating and letting the act of painting lead me somewhere, rather than actually just sitting waiting to be inspired. It is equally important to keep the door open to inspiration. Like a boxer who keeps training for that one big chance to fight and even get a knock-out, I look at everything, think of all possibilities and if it seems mildly interesting, I study it further.
I also get inspired and very encouraged by watching other artists working in their studios and how they spend their time thinking as much as creating and maybe less time waiting to be inspired. Sometimes it can just be about spending good quality time in the studio. Just being there is inspirational to me. I walk into my studio and suddenly a feeling of excitment and sense of belonging comes over me and off I go!!! Search for ideas and inspiration, do not wait for it!
The other day I was watching an artist named Thornton Willis. I’ve never even heard of him until I happened to see a clip of him on YouTube. Quite an ex ordinary man and a great painter. His words and his process was my inspiration and a quick “shot in the arm” to get me going in my own work.
Every artist whom I’ve known or seen has inspired me in some way. It seems that for the successful ones its more about working hard, constantly creating or being in the studio. They also seem to validate what I am trying to do and for me, just as important to have. Even the great Picasso used to work long hours in the studio creating and not really worrying about inspiration. Its sort of like he had something important to say with his work and only so many hours in the day in which to say it.
Maybe for most of us, inspiration simply comes from….. perspiration?
I will be having my upcoming solo exhibition The Structure of Things at La Galerie Espace 4844 Boul. St.Laurent June 8 -14th. I will be revealing some new painting and drawing so please come by and help me celebrate this important occasion. The vernissage is Thursday June 9th. Gallery hours are weekdays 1-8:00pm and weekends 12 – 6:00pm