Always there are paintings waiting to happen. Ideas, sights, inspired ideas bulging inside, waiting to burst out. There is so much to say, so many stories to be told! It’s barely containable at times. Sometimes, they actually get painted; that is a wonderful thing, flowing out of life. Most times the painting itself tells me where it wants to go. Very very seldom is there a search for inspiration. When the flow is not on, it’s crash and burn time, but that’s ok. Low places provide so much.
So how do the ideas happen?
Personal experience. Looking at the wonders of creation, barely able to breathe at times! Seeing beautiful people doing interesting things. Sometimes reading the Bible brings images. Loving something or someone. Conversing with someone else, saving memories, spending time with grown children learning about their lives by painting them. Looking, seeing what makes things or people be what they are, and what they are saying.
Moments that are gifts, captured images, a moment of our life. Sometimes there is something to be stated. Sometimes not. But when it begins to happen, my hands begin to need the brushes, my mind becomes consumed with the working of it. Sometimes there is an ache inside until I can begin.
Driving down a back desert road, I came upon a red-tailed hawk that did not want to leave his road-kill. He raised off the coyote when I approached, alighting in a nearby mesquite. He wanted to fly away, but he was held there by his feast. I came closer, he flew off, returning moments later, hesitant to land, hesitant to leave. “Oh please,” he sighed, “go away”. Up he went, down he came, alighting, leaving, alighting, hesitating. He was beautiful, back-lit by the late afternoon sun. I wanted him. He wanted his dinner. We were at a stand-off until we both had enough. What a wonderful moment.
While sitting on a wall in the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, I watched for some time the interesting, diverse people going about their day. I saw cultural walls disappear as each person became fascinated with this duck family. I thought how just one simple aspect of the wonders of God’s creation removed barriers, and for a moment, uniting people in joy. The light was exciting to me, as well as lovely color and textures. The moments we share with others in joy, even if we never know them, are treasures.
When visiting wonderful Biloxi, Mississippi, I fell in love. Over the top adoration for pelicans. They seemed somewhat pre-historic at first, odd. It was delightful to watch them fish and fly, but my favorite observations were of their community. I thought they are very communal beings. I spent as much time as I could on the beach, happy and grateful the birds were there just a few years after the disastrous BP oil spill. They seemed happy to be there also.
Inspired. When home-schooling my children, we ventured into British history. We loved reading about Romans in Britain, the Picts, Celts, the Saxons and other marauding hordes. But then, I became powerfully distracted. King Arthur, his legends, his stories. In my thoughts the leather and iron age, the British countryside…this is my King Arthur. He, possibly being trained by the Romans, maybe of Roman descent, maybe of Picti or Saxon… Some would say he might have black hair, but they can paint him that way. King Arthur united Britain. He broke down the dividing factions and built a kingdom. I may not remember tales or history clearly, but Arthur had his moment.
Inspired. Jesus Christ comes with a shout of power and victory to bring His people with Him. With the sound of the trumpets, celebrating, like an extremely revved-up version of a touch-down. Jesus is strong. He comes in the clouds, the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who believe in Him and are alive will be caught up together with them, with Him! in the air. I wondered at the Life-charged atmosphere, filled with heavenly beings, Jesus Himself, resurrecting dead into living, changing all of us in the blink of an eye. In a blink of an eye… it’s the moments.