Inspiration is defined as: The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially. to do something creative; a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea; the drawing in of breath; inhalation.
|Summer Brome II by John Hulsey, 30 x 40, oil painting.|
Inspiration is an elusive process and it is impossible to say why one thing inspires and another does not. It is an individual process, totally dependent on one's vision and mental state, and yet, ironically, when given substance and life through the creation of great art, inspiration can infect others with the same inspiration.
I was out walking in my woods this morning thinking about inspiration and how I have found it over the years. It seems to me that it comes in two distinctly different forms.
The first, less common form, is the sudden flash of recognition of a perfect subject or a creative idea that just begs to be given life. Sometimes I can act on these immediately. More often they can only be noted in my sketchbook, which may be a good thing, because they are then put to the test of time. Those ideas that survive are always the strongest.
The more common form of inspiration that I receive, especially as I have gotten older, is the inspiration derived from a prolonged inhalation of my subject. I find great value in a lukewarm approach to an interesting landscape or still life subject that requires me to study and dig deep into it to find what is beautiful and perhaps universal about it. I have come to believe that in nature, there is always a universal truth and beauty built in. Discovering that for myself often requires spending time drawing and making multiple paintings to get at the heart of it. These paintings always turn out to be my best work.
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–John and Ann