I just read a newsletter article from Dan Scott of drawpaintacademy.com. Here is an edited version of his story:
Dan writes, “Where do I find painting inspiration?” He answers with this story: “I was out running, doing laps around a nearby lake. I was dazing in-and-out, just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. Suddenly, a bolt of inspiration brought me to an abrupt halt.
As I stood on the bridge overlooking the water, the light tried to burst through a small gap in the clouds. Everything just clicked—the trees, water, rocks, and the dramatic battle between light and clouds. It was one of those “I need to paint that” moments.
I didn’t have my painting equipment, so I snapped a photo. I returned to the same spot about 10 minutes later and the clouds had won the battle; the gap was closed and the light was shut out. And with that, my inspiration was gone, like a fleeting puff of smoke.
That is what finding inspiration is all about. Being able to recognize and capture fleeting moments like this.”
How do we find inspiration? Like love, sometimes inspiration cannot be engineered. We can’t go looking for it, we cannot make it happen. We can do the work and clear the path for inspiration, but we never know when and how it will find us.
Substitute “inspiration” for “love” in this excerpt from the poem, Honey & Salt, by Carl Sandburg, and consider how inspiration will find you:
“Bidden or unbidden? How comes love?
Both bidden and unbidden, a sneak and a shadow,
a dawn in a doorway throwing a dazzle
or a sash of light in a blue fog.
a slow blinking of two red lanterns in river mist
or a deep smoke winding one hump of a mountain
and the smoke becomes a smoke known to your own twisted individual garments:
The winding of it gets into your walk, your hands, your face and eyes.
-Carl Sandburg, Honey and Salt
Happy Valentines Day! Be on the lookout for inspiration…it will come. Be ready to embrace it when it does!
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