I need to feel relaxed, open in heart and mind. I will get so worked up that it is hard to relax and think clearly. I had to take a deep breath. So I went to a used book store.
There is nothing like combing through the art books in a bookstore to both calm me down and open my mind. I have to keep reminding myself that you can not create new things in a vacuum. You must observe more things to create new things. It's easy for me to start feeling like I need to make my own art without looking at or being influenced by anything else, but that never really works.
I had great luck. I came away with 3 books on Henri Roussea, Gauguin, and Matisse. The Roussea really spoke to me I had to read this one first!
|Exotic Landscape by Henri Roussea|
I had one of those great inspired nights on the couch slowly reading through the book on Roussea sipping my tea and taking notes. It doesn't make me want to copy a Roussea, it makes me want to paint my own jungle! Then I move over to the laptop and start a Google search for Roussea; pinning images and doing some reading on the man's life. He didn't start seriously painting till he was in his 40's!
It's just magic the way this sort of research starts to expand and suddenly I'm wondering how this could be made into a children's art lesson, then about photography in the late 1800's and on and on.
|Femme Exotique by Henri Roussea|
|Monument to Chopin in the Luxembourg Gardens by Henri Roussea|
AND THEN I found this GREAT quote from Gide Roussea.
"The imagination imitates; the critical mind creates."
Yes! Explosions in my mind! Of course the critical mind....you must have as much to pull from as possible. I can no more be held back by the idea that looking at someone else's art will turn me into that other artist or change the validity of what I make. It will only enhance my own singular voice as I add richness of experience to my understanding of the world!