Working Title: Golden Sea, acrylic, 36 x 18,
by Elizabeth W. Seaver
Although I do love this size to paint on, I have forbidden myself to buy any more canvas for this show. Six is what I have, so I will use what I have and make it work. Jerry's will just have to do without me for awhile!
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I talk with lots of people during my week at Libertytown. Many of them at this time in each semester come from the local community college where they are taking a Humanities class taught by one of our great supporters and First Friday regulars. She wants them to experience culture through a concert or live performance or trip to an art gallery or museum. She promotes our establishment, and lots of her students find their way through our doors.
My artist in residence studio is right up front, off the main gallery. It is one of the first places many of these folks come. Their assignment is to find three pieces of art by three different artists that speak to them and are connected in some way. Then, they are to have a conversation with a live artist, which can be intimidating. In general, the questions are read verbatim to the artist off of the assignment sheet. To vary it, I try to answer the questions a little differently each time...How do you feel about your art? What materials do you use?
But the question I almost always answer the same is: Where do you get your inspiration? I get the feeling that I am supposed to answer that some place or person or color or photograph gives me inspiration, and I am often tempted to say just that. But in all honesty, I don't really get inspired to paint. I go to work. I show up to the materials and get dirty. Fifteen or thirty minutes or an hour later, when I'm not really paying attention, inspiration comes. It's a shy creature. If I waited for it to approach, I would rarely create.
So, that's what I tell them...I show up every day, even if I am not feeling inspired, and if I'm lucky, and busy and vewy, vewy, qwiet...inspiration finds me
In case I have left you with the impression that I find these conversations boring, let me assure you, first of all, that the learning is not one-sided. But my favorite part is watching the transformation. The students usually arrive hesitant, reluctant, shy, and ready to get this assignment over with. They, almost to a person, leave bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and resolved to come back and bring their friends and family.
I love that.