I have just spent a long
summer in the UK and took the opportunity to visit as many museums, galleries, art festivals and markets as I could. I wa lked the countryside, visited gardens, castles and monuments and
soaked it all in to see what would happen.
Picasso said that inspiration will find you working so I worked diligently to expose myself to as much work by other artists, natural environments,
villages, harbours, cities, towns and islands as I reasonably could. In some places I was just a tourist in others I was being guided by locals keen to show off the wonders of their neighbourhoods. After a while it became overwhelming.
With so much new information, I needed to let it percolate, settle, stew and pickle until something emerged. You cannot force inspiration. You can feed your imagination, nurture your soul and delight your eyes but inspiration takes time to germinate and grow but when it sprouts it is the most beautiful plant with everykind of leaf and flower, every colour, texture, construction and purpose. Well fed inspiration can last for months; not just moments.
I gave myself the day off from all these labours and went lazily browsing every shop, courtyard, square, street and alley of an old market town. I had no purpose at all - it was a holiday. But then, I visited little gallery that I have been in to many times before and BANG! everything came flooding into my mind and I could not get to my sketch book fast enough.
I retired to a wine bar in the square, ordered a glass of wine and started to sketch out little thumbnail compositions - 50 in all!
I knew where the inspiration came from because I had worked hard to plant good seeds but I had no idea when it would germinate, grow and bud. That part always takes me by surprise.
Now I have returned to my studio, I am once again overwhelmed; this time by the amount of work I have created for myself! It's time to order some canvasses and keep working until I reach the end. The difficulty will be to focus on the tasks I have set myself because, as sure as eggs are eggs - I will find more inspiration while I am working and that will take me off in another direction.