Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Inspiration

 I am Inspired. 

Most of the time I am awake, I am dreaming up ideas I plan to materialize creatively. I covertly wish there were more hours in the day, days in the week, or another top-secret me to cary these plans out. But since there are not, I will settle for lots and lots of lists of projects I am always working towards or working on.

Since I am in flux a'la living quarters, I rely primarily on the pottery studio to fulfill my creative needs. I am truly blessed to have access to a community studio and also work there teaching visual/clay arts. I know that someday, very soon, I will also land my newest awesome home where I can again revisit at length- my old friends: stinky, oily paints, richly sensuous fabrics, pebbly primitive canvases and much much more! Even art supplies inspire me!

Part of what inspires me so is the passion and integrity of other creative people, be they 7 or 67, an artist is born, not made. I believe everyone has creativity, but not all creative people are artists. Such is life. I accept that I will never be the next prodigious pianist. I am fine with that.

 I honor myself where I am creatively, 
as I honor my studio-mates and students where they are creatively at as well. 

Working and living in such limited spaces has caused me to push out of my comfort zone as well as free up my desire to tightly grasp my vision. This resulted in a more flowing, less judgmental, easy creative process. I know that these few years have not been in vain. I will, when the time is right, return to having a home studio where I will create so much more than ever before, so much looser and with a different focus. I am excited for that to happen. In due time. The perfect situation will present itself.

Back to inspiration:
What has inspired me in my students, both young and older alike is their trust in the process. Most are completely reliant upon the lesson or plans or directions as to how-to... but once they understand the steps, I give them space to explore and make decisions as well as mistakes. I step in when the time dictated I need to do so. I notice that some people really do rely on my advice or help. At first, this came across a bit needy and off-putting regarding some folks, but after I stepped out of the dreaded ego zone, it was easier to be present, compassionate and lovingly help. 
After all, it IS my job.

{ How do I come across needy and off-putting? }

I watch as the kids are completely enraptured with all steps of making pottery, which is- so fun and awesome to do. They behold themselves and their pots with total awe, regardless of shape or size. Some use the same 2 glazes over and over, experimenting with application. Others want to try each one once. It is the tenaciousness of their vision that inspires me, the same tenaciousness that brings them frustration and joy. It brings me frustration and joy, yet the joy far outweighs the frustration by far!

I can always make more. I love the impermanence factor with pottery. At any stage in it's production, things can go very very awry, and they do. Practicing the act of not expecting, one does not feel let down... well, not really.

Dust to dust, literally.

I have always had a project or challenge objective in the studio, but more recently, I was inspired by this installation of Julie Green's work titled Last Supper {Check it out HERE!} which features a series of hand-painted blue-on-white plates depicting specific meals requested by death row inmates. The story as well as her work touched me deeply.

 You can read about the inmates/requests on her website... 

My life has, as of the last few years, been riddled with death, loss, transformation and grieving, so Green's work speaks to me on a guttural level. Retrospectively, my work has been reflective of these shifts, these chasms created by the dynamic change. One cannot be unmoved.
I am moved, deeply moved.


I am inspired to reflect my changes. 
To embrace the losses, to work through these cycles and create beautiful, ugly, elaborate and mundane works that mirror my experiences, hopes, dreams and fears.

Inspiration [in/of art] IS inspiration [to breathe in.]


  1. I've read several posts on inspiration today. This one is excellent!

    Nice to meet you, and I hope you're enjoying the Challenge!

    A to Z Challenge Host

  2. Very nice post Violet. I liked the line about how everyone has creativity but not all creative people are artists. I think I fall into that a good bit. I'm creative but I wouldn't ever say an artist.

    The Last Supper project is interesting. I hadn't heard of it before.

    Anna@ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

  3. Thanks Ladies! Hope you are having fun with this challenge as I am!

  4. And I am inspired by your post!

  5. Your post itself is inspiring.

    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  6. what an inspiring post on inspiration! i love the projects you've shared and the pictures.
    Dropping by from the A-Z!

  7. Lovely post! Happy A to Z. :)

  8. Great post! New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.


  9. Thanks for the reading!!! I am prepping for an art show but will check your blogs out after this weekend is over, I am excited to read what you all are sharing as well! Thanks for stopping by!


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