Sunday, May 1, 2016

Finding Inspiration Part 2

Rembrandt Self Portrait Age 63

Rembrandt's Late Self-Portraits,

 Elizabeth Jennings (1975) excerpt

You are confronted with yourself. Each year

The pouches fill, the skin is uglier.

You give it all unflinchingly. You stare

Into yourself, beyond. Your brush's care

Runs with self-knowledge. Here

Is a humility at one with craft.

There is no arrogance. Pride is apart

From this self-scrutiny. You make light drift

The way you want. Your face is bruised and hurt

But there is still love left . . .
Sherry in the Cubist Style

Since becoming a serious artist eight years ago, I have spent many hours pouring over the paintings done by the masters I most admire, looking for what I can learn from each one.  My husband, who is a poet, has often given me a poem written about a painting, an Ekphrasis, such as this one about Rembrandt’s work.  So at some point it occurred to me that I might also find inspiration not only by looking at masterworks, but also by re-reading my favorite poems and listening to my favorite songs.  The more I mature as an artist, the more I am convinced that all of the arts spring from the same or a similar source in our souls – a psychologist would say from our unconscious. Wherever our inspiration comes from, immersing ourselves in a variety of artistic resources, not just paintings is bound to stimulate our personal creativity, and painting a self-portrait is a fine way to begin that journey within.