“Inspired”….are you?

To be inspired. It’s a phrase I hadn’t consciously been aware of as a crucial part of the artist’s process. In choreography usually you just need a little spark, and it triggers so many ideas, for movement or an image or music, and takes you on the road to start mapping a choreography, from it’s intangible realm to it’s physical reality. Different choreographers have different methods they employ, but having an idea or inspiration to start with never seemed much of a problem for me or didn’t require that much time, especially if correlated to the length of time required in completing a dance or working on the choreography.

My paintings, or painting for me however sees quite a reversal of this process. I need ’empty days’ as one might call them, many on end sometimes, to be as it is said, “inspired”. It requires of me a great deal of slowing down, taking things easy, just breathing, to come to that place of a personal peace, from which my paintings stem. I don’t start with a known idea, I usually discover it while I am painting. Of course this is abstract contemporary art, so it is a little random, at least mine is. But there is a definitive thinking behind the culminating result .

I realized this difference, last summer, when a friend asked me if I was painting that day, and I casually replied no. She repeated her question everyday for the next few days, and I kept saying, no, not yet. Till finally, sometime in the week after she found me, completing a set of three canvases, and she said, ‘Ah Vanessa, you are painting, you are inspired…’, and I answered her smiling, ‘Yes, I am’.

It still seems perplexing, this place of inspiration is quite elusive and yet when found it is like an unending river. My advice if any of you need to be inspired, take it easy for a while, it’s probably the most natural way to connect to that something that is already inside of you, it’s just deep inside.

 

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