This is the seventh installment from the series of posts that will describe my thoughts and technical insights from selected works included in our newly released book, “Not Far from Home”….Enjoy!
Inspiration and obedience…
Have you ever had the feeling that you needed to be painting a subject more grandiose than what lay presently before you in its simple, sensitive beauty. I need to confess that I have and am amazed at my thick-headedness as I have ignored the profound, staggering elegance of the subject right before my eyes in hopes to find something “more important”.
I have found this hubris humbling as I have tried to deny the inspiration that has been given, picking and choosing, trying to squelch the “insignificant” ones to find a more profound “storyline”. In the temptation to “tell a lofty story” in the literal sense with the subject, I have overlooked the grander message that the simple beauty is conveying.
The “Visit”, as Canadian composer Loreena McKennitt refers to the inspiration, should not be ignored. I truly believe that it was given for a clear purpose and that my best works were completed when I have followed the initial spark.
I do not say this to advocate a lazy approach in looking for a subject that moves us deeply or to shirk the responsibility of developing more complex compositions, but too often I have let the temptation to paint something “profound and important” block the true inspiration God has given in the twist of a branch or the ever so subtle shift from red to green in the face of the model.
Certainly we should continue to strive toward greater heights as we develop our artistic abilities in whatever direction that leads us, but I for one, need to “obey”, for lack of a better word, and proceed as directed. My greatest joy in painting has followed when I have.
In my opinion, no profounder message could have been told than that of which these cedar trees expressed.
My job was to absorb the beauty, convey the message and rejoice…
“Not Far from Home”