Tuesday, May 22, 2018

You Can't Think Up an Idea

Again, from Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Mozart's Starling:

People always ask where I get the ideas for my books; I think all authors hear this question. And, at least for me, there is only one answer: You can't think up an idea. Instead, an idea flies into your brain—unbidden, careening, and wild, like a bird out of the ether. And though there is a measure of chance, luck, and grace involved, for the most part ideas don't rise from actual ether; instead, they spring from the metaphoric opposite—from the rich soil that has been prepared, with and without our knowledge, by the whole of our lives: what we do, what we know, what we see, what we dream, what we fear, what we love. 

Even when I might not like what appears on my canvas as I paint, I am suffused with wonder.

What is it that shows up?

Are today's marks and colors informed by the day my dad taught me how to use a Brownie camera in our front yard in Cranford when I was 8 or 9? By the peanut butter sandwich I ate for dinner when banished to solitude on the day in fifth grade when I refused to take my piano lesson? By the conversation I had yesterday with the plumber installing a shower drain in our upstairs bathroom?

newest patch
detail
detail
new patch in the big picture
work in progress
working title: Core Values
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This patch last seen looking like this:


9 comments:

  1. Who cares where they come from ! Let them just come! Maybe you started with the purple because there was purple. How do we decide our palette? Which brush to use? The wonderful thing is that we choose to paint and we pick a color and brush it on, and then react! Love this explosion of color, in outer-space or under the sea! Had a good day at class, posting when I edit photos I just took!

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    1. Carol, yes! Let them just come! That they DO come suffuses me with wonder. The mystery of the creative process is wonder-ful!

      Eager to see your next post.

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  2. oh oh! Can't wait to read this! And your narrative reminds me of a response a savvy artist taught me for the collector question "How long did it take you to paint that?" (often used when price haggling). The answer "my whole life. everything I've done up to the moment I painted this prepared me to do it." ha ha! It's TRUE!

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    1. I am endlessly fascinated by the mystery and magic of how one's whole life bubbles up in one way or another into each moment of actual painting, and I especially love that it takes place outside of language. As you know, I love words and wordsmithing but it is such a huge wondrous gift to step outside that familiar default world.

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  3. How well I remember that day you were banished for not taking your piano lesson. I’m wondering where that moment is reflected in this new patch?!

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    1. Haha! How could you forget that day, with the horror and panic you felt as you witnessed my brash insubordination? That peanut butter sandwich was worth this patch of paint! : )

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  4. Pleasing purple persuasion. :)
    Peanut butter planned for lunch. ;)

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    1. The purple brings me back to a maxi-coat I got senior year in h.s. when my family transferred to London with my dad's job.

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