Saturday, 1 August 2009

5 degrees of inspiration

I've been invited to a wonderful party - fancy dress of course! Come dressed in your five favourite inspirations... It's not too late to join in, grab your 'drive' and journey over...

Inspiration. The word seems to brush gently as it passes your lips,

gossamer soft and strangely enticing.

Primo - My Muse

She is surely a magical thing but playful too. My secret self who will creep up on me when least expected, and don’t think she follows any rules. No way! Inspiration makes an appearance only when she wants to. It’s her terms or no terms.

Inspiration is my muse; she is what turns a dull day into a fine one; a pile of old paper into a work of art and a tiny germ of an idea into a full-blown pandemic of explosive creativity! Sometimes I just have to sit at a keyboard or in front of some art materials and she will weave her spells. Occasionally she makes me work a bit harder for her services. However, the time she pays me most visits (the little minx) is late at night when I am trying to sleep. POP goes the bubble of idea she sends me scuttling into my brain and spreading out its interesting tendrils, exploring a myriad possibilities. Will I remember by morning? Possibly not, so my muse gives me a quick nudge, turns on the bedside lamp and presents me with my beautiful floral notebook into which I diligently record her delightful suggestions.

Secondo - Artists & Creatives
The creativity of others – whether it be a beautiful ACEO on Etsy or gazing in awe in front of the great Masters. Standing in front of the Canalettos in the National Gallery in London, I once had what can only be described as a moment of self-discovery. It is almost impossible to put into words. I felt uplifted and suddenly in touch with lost emotion, with the desire to create and dig for soul treasure.

Websites like Etsy had me dreaming and drooling until suddenly I stopped thinking "if only" and instead dived in head first into a box of art supplies. I came out sticky, paint-stained, crumpled, creased, frustrated, exhilarated but above all motivated. No matter the result, it's the journey that counts. It doesn't have to rank alongside Canaletto, Rosetti or Monet. It just has to please me.

My soul is like a sponge soaked in all this inspirational juice. Everywhere I turn I'm drenched in showers of it. Thank you to all you lovely creative people. This week I was inspired by a simple challenge... Here is a background, go make something. So I pondered and splashed and stuck and experimented. A tiny detail on display here. Come back tomorrow when I post the full version.

Terzo - Italy
What magic lifts from the fragrant hills? What secrets lie behind honeyed walls and terracotta tile? What secret elixir inhabits the vino rosso? Maybe it is the incurable romantic in me, but there is something timelessly enticing about the land of Romeo and his sweetheart. Artists and writers across the centuries have been drawn in mesmerised and, growing up in such surroundings how can you fail but to become Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Puccini or even Ferrari?

The first time I sat open-mouthed in front of the film adaptation of the E M Forster classic, A Room with a View, I was in love. I only have to catch a passing glimpse of rolling Tuscan countryside and I am reaching for paintbrush. Ah if only I could truly capture that essence.

Quarto - Feedback
Well, I admit that no one really likes criticism but if ever anything was guaranteed to goad me into action to improve anything I have created then a little niggling dig is sure to rile the Muse into action - providing of course that you see their point of view (there's always a caveat!). "I'll show them..."
But thankfully the scales of happiness do sometimes swing in our favour. How wonderful to receive praise... but is it really as good at kick-starting the Muse? Does it not put extra pressure to out-perform or at the very least equal?
And who can ever resist the pull of a little healthy competition too?

And now alas my inner critic is chastising me. How can I possibly post this without an appropriate picture? I don't have any artwork that quite epitomises the inspiring power of a few choice words. No, not excellent.

Quinto - Heston Blumenthal
Just watch and tell me you're not inspired! Anything is possible. Pure genius.

Heston is arguably one of the world's greatest chefs and undoubtedly the most imaginative.

He is a man who thrives on creativity, cut him in half (not recommended) and he'll have it written through him. It doesn't matter whether he creates culinary concoctions, advertisements, films or breeze blocks. It's about having the nerve to fire up that creativity with inspiration from the most unlikely sources; never being afraid to try something different and, possibly most important, keeping at it until you get the results you're after - it may not be exactly what you set out to do at the start, but it's giving people what they didn't know they wanted - and boy do they want it!

Thank you for the invite. I'm having fun so far, but a little lonely at the party on my own... Who will turn up next and what costumes will they be wearing?


  1. what an absolutely mesmerizing post!! you are right ... you MUST be a writer!! thank you for partying with us!! i have enjoyed my visit here and please send my love to your muse ;)
    hugs and peace,
    luthien :))

  2. Your post was wonderful! I agree with MUST be a writer :)


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post - thank you!

    Your last paragraph on Heston is so true! We need to experiment and not be frightened to have a go, because as you say, we could come up with something others didn't know they needed!

  4. You really do write beautifully! I love the image of you diving head first into a pile of art materials - sounds like heaven! ;)

  5. Hey, first let me thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment.
    You are such a wiz with words. I love reading your blog. Having a personal muse is great-and I think they all love that night time gig. That's why I keep pen and paper by the bed so I can capture ideas (it annoys the sleeping partners though. They usually glare at me, flick their tails over their eyes and try to ignore me.)
    i love italy too. The tuscan sunlight and colors of the italian countryside, the feel of history in Rome and Venice. Someday I would love to visit Italy.
    Looking at other's work does inspire one to work harder at your own work.

    So now I'm off to see other inspirations. Catch you along the way.

  6. love the images - pics and words!

  7. nicely said. I too am inspired by Italy except by a certain region....Trieste. It is a very usual area as it lies next to Slovenia, Austria and Croatia, where my in laws come from. The culture is very mixed there from food, music, apparel and language. I will surely come back and take a gander as my 1st peek has intrigued me.


  8. This was masterful and exquisite all at once. I'm so moved by your posting and alas your muse has come to rest in my world for a bit. Thank you so much for joining in our party and I'm really looking forward to returning again!
    All the best ~ Sharon

  9. Just stopping by to leave a comment from all of us and to say thanks so much for joining in the fun today!♥
    Sharon & the girls from Inspiration Avenue

  10. Oh you are so right on the feedback!! negative and postitive spur me on!! Loved your list! Great inspiration!

  11. I love your muse inspiration! I have one of those, too, but completely forgot to include that in mine. (I should have made my rounds of these blog posts first, lol!)

    I love your "Artists & Creatives" answer, too! You're just so good with words! :)

  12. i am still digesting all of your post.. twas very engaging. my muse is awol..

    you really are a writer!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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