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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inspiration and Creativity

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends.

-William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I am convinced artists live on tenterhooks. More reasonable folks go to business school and move to the suburbs. This is not to say artists do not live in the suburbs; okay, I know few who do. This is to say the artist's course is bated with uncertainty.

Three weeks ago I was sitting in my kitchen complaining to my daughter about not painting. This was the beginning of a month free of work commitments and the mists of lassitude were descending. My daughter said something like, "you are uninspired." Indeed.

The Greeks believed that inspiration came from the muses, and the gods Apollo and Dionysus. I wish I were an ancient Greek. Freud attached inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. I have my doubts about Freud. I don't know if inspiration is divine, I just know it takes a certain amount to leap into the creative process. How much inspiration, I am not sure.

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