My entire life has been about art. My earliest memories of childhood consist of the smell of crayons and the squishy texture of fingerpaints between my fingers. When I am not sewing, or painting, or taking pictures… I'm thinking about sewing, or painting, or taking pictures.
I am currently participating in the most amazing workshops given by artist, Alisa Burke. Deeply inspired by her vision and artistic philosophy, I ventured into her realm with much anticipation.
Burke demands that her students search their soul for their muse, seeking "real time" inspiration through passion, surroundings and life experiences (rather than looking for inspiration through books, magazines, or the internet.)
A concept so basic, yet in this day and age with the availability of images and information - so easily dismissed.
Coco Channel once said, "only those with no memory, insist on their originality."
As a graduate student of world literature, I saw that to be so true, as everything I read - and as a student of music, I recognize verbatim beats, bars or melodies - taken from somewhere else. Even T.S. Elliot was a thief - for as he stated in the Sacred Wood, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
In one of her lessons, Burke speaks fondly of a professor from college who greatly inspired her. He shared with her his philosophy about being "authentic," and what it takes to truly create "authentic" art.
He told her she should not watch tv, or even listen to music - while creating. He went so far as to suggest putting the distance of time between reading or studying about art history - before stepping into the studio.
This concept, this notion of being authentic really struck me. So much of my stuff is based upon what I absorb from experiencing the creative output of other. Never really thought about that I, at times - am totally guilty of this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pinterest. I adore having my coffee early in the morning and pouring over pinterest - absorbing like a sponge what people all over the world are taking pictures of or creating. And without a doubt - that does influence my work. Probably more than I care to admit.
Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cezanne said, "Whoever the master is whom you prefer, this MUST only be a directive for you. Otherwise you will never be anything but an imitator."
"A directive," - I will be thinking a lot about that now as I work through my lessons, finding my muse, my passion. I am going to focus on what inspires me - what "stirs my soul."
So much here in North Carolina - "stirs my soul." The ocean, the mountains, the woods surrounding my house - Gizmo(!) - the list is endless. Hence the previous post and slideshow.
I am going to take my camera, sketchbook and paints - outside - field trips here in Raleigh, over to the Outer Banks, and then on to the Blue Ridge Mountains….
Then, I'm going to bring those images and those rough sketches back into my studio and start working with them - in a way I've never done before.
C'mon Gizmo - let's go. My muse awaits!
(Click HERE for information on Alisa's workshops .)