You can’t rush inspiration. For well over a year I have been sifting through ideas, impressions and desires for my next series of paintings. During the past six months I have been experimenting with oil paint and imagery. But only a week or two ago, while in the shower, did it finally all come together for me. And if art really is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration then I have a long way to go!
When I mentioned it to Greg he reminded me of an incident that happened years ago, when we were living in central Greece and teaching English at a language school. Eager to assimilate, Greg asked one of our bosses to teach us how to make the perfect cup of Greek coffee. ‘Mr. Nick’ was going through the steps and got to a point where he didn’t know the English term for what he was trying to explain.
Nick: You know … ah … that point where the water is starting to rise but not yet bubbling? What’s the word in English?
Greg: Uh … hmm. I don’t think there is a word in English.
At which point Nick threw up his hands in that typically dramatic Greek fashion and said, “Of course!” as if to say that we may have many words for one thing in English but typically don’t even have one for something as important as this. I agree. I have been in that moment before inspiration happens for a long time now. How can there be no word for it?
What happens next always pales in comparison to that triumphant feeling of solving a nagging problem. I have had several false starts since then and finally decided to quit trying to control the process so much and just paint. This is as far as I've gotten. (And I know that Paula, bless her heart, will tell me she likes it like this and I should stop here.) Now I plan to take the rest of August off and go hang out on a lake in the wilderness. Will the coffee be stale when I get back, d'you think?