Daily Archives: May 12, 2016

Timeout for Art: Waiting for Inspiration

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Far too much time, in my life, is wasted in waiting for inspiration.

I know all the angles.

There is the careful organization of materials: lay out the paints in tubes or cups or blobs on a palette; prepare the medium or thinners or solvents; make stacks of papers; wedge balls of clay; sharpen every pencil.

There is research: ArtNews and ArtForum magazines for current trends; home decor magazines for color ideas; a stack of instructional books for pointers on technique; art history books for reference; the book of possible titles for work not yet created; books of clipped words and pictures that I saved for inspiration, should I ever need it. Amazing, how often I feel I need it!

Then there are all the “asides.” I should make a pot of coffee before I get started; what about lunch? Best to eat before I get messy. Along those lines, I should make calls now, ’cause I won’t want to interrupt my work for a phone call. I’m sure I could concentrate on the job at hand if I just gave the studio a good cleaning first. The windows are dirty! I wouldn’t get the glare from the afternoon sun if I hung curtains, and maybe I should pull out the sewing machine and stitch some up.

Does it all work? Not really.

It makes me feel like I’m trying, that’s all.

Inspiration does not come to the one who sits waiting. To bring the good ideas marching one after another, unbidden, it’s necessary to just get at it. Plunge in! When my hands are busy and my mind is just open, not waiting and working and straining for the good idea, that s when inspiration finds me.