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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

While we're on the subject

Last week when my lovely Plume wrote a blog post about her own inspiration, she really set me to thinking.


I find it necessary to look. To really stop in your tracks, not just give a courtesy slow-down, but simply look without analyzing or chatting or making judgment calls. I can not turn this constant "looking" off, it is an unquenchable thirst and I am always drinking it in.

(As a side note: Did you know the average amount of time an American spends looking at a painting is eleven seconds? And that's the painting, out of all the others in the gallery/museum/etc, that peaked their interest, that they veered towards and stopped in front of. Eleven seconds. Not much can be truly absorbed in eleven seconds.)
I am fascinated with trees, their roots, rings, leaves, the idea of life that began long before my own and will continue long after I have returned to dust. The light that falls just before dusk and holds the world in a surreal glow wrenches my heart nightly; the crows that cry out in guttural tones speak to my soul of sweet bitterness and elegant melancholy.

Narcissistic as it may sound, I believe I receive personal blessings every day in the form of chickadees that have chosen my tree, the compositions of color that align in the foliage as I walk through my neighborhood, the seasonal cycles that parade across my open windows. I know when I walk through a field, the crickets sing a little louder because they know I am listening and the trees send down their most perfect golden leaves to share with me.


I find that if you really look, really listen, nature will reward that unexpected act of humility. And that reward will be the riches of inspiration that well up and flow from your heart and fingertips. Inspiration never dries up because there is always some new beauty the Earth is giving birth to. Sometimes it is fickle, and sometimes we are too busy, too fast, too burdened to lift our eyes without vision blurred with tears but inspiration never abandons us.

We each have our own gifts, our own set of lenses through which to see the world, and while not trusting in our own ideas may be the largest crime of a lifetime, believing in them enough to breathe life into them is easily the largest blessing.

And that, my loves, my friends, is why I create.

Amen.

- Umber

6 comments:

she said...

yes. amen.
thank you for sharing this.

(my art survey teacher gave us the time of THREE seconds before a painting some 7 years ago. i'm glad to know humanity is learning to slow down - let's keep going in that direction.)

keep looking. you are catching and giving voice to what many of us miss.

UmberDove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UmberDove said...

Three seconds. While I agree with painting exercises that push students to break through the fear of applying paint (aka "ruining" a canvas), something where only three seconds is given to connect will only EVER be an exercise.

Let's ling arms and stroll together, soaking up this life in all it's seasons.

BC said...

That post moves me. Period.

mme. bookling said...

i know a lot of this about you, but it's much different to read it...it sounds mulled over, chewed on, swirled around, and solidified as you and why you are who you are...not JUST why you DO what you DO.

I crush big time on the way you are inspired...thank you for always being so willing to teach it and share it.

catholicbeer said...

Wow Kelly... turns out you paint as beautifully with words... I highlighted my favorite part but as I continued to read I realized that I 'should' be copying the whole post...

I was grasped here:

"The light that falls just before dusk and holds the world in a surreal glow wrenches my heart nightly; the crows that cry out in guttural tones speak to my soul of sweet bitterness and elegant melancholy."

...my soul is also listening, and joins in in silent cacophony.