Friends often ask when inspiration strikes me. All I can honestly say is “I don’t know”, it varies. Off the top of my head I can give you a recent example though. It was the May bank holiday and I’d been struggling for weeks trying to think up something that would tally up to a commission I’d recently been handed. I hadn’t got much sleep the previous night so come 4pm I was slightly dozy.
My studio has a settee that I sometimes retreat to and it’s located not far from the main window that looks out over the nearby part of town. I don’t want to be cliched in saying it evokes the sights and sounds of Montmartre, but looking straight ahead through the glass there’s a hill encrusted with houses, and it’s topped off by a neo-Gothic church, pity it’s a hack job rather than a Pugin original.
Anyway getting back to my point, I was curled up on the settee in the mood to drift off when suddenly through the open blinds masking the window something caught my attention. I was feeling too lethargic at that precise moment to open both eyes so I placed all responsibility on my weaker right eye. It’s always useful to have a potential excuse/scapegoat at the ready, goodness knows I’ve needed one when I’ve received bad reviews. So my right eye locked its gaze on the window and what it could see were shapes twisting and arching past the window. Their movement being fractured by the individual blades in the blind. This continued for several minutes and eventually I was so engrossed I had to open my left eye to confirm what I was looking at. It turned out to be seagulls, who I guess must have been lured up the Thames by the fishy smells of Billingsgate Market.
What they’d been doing was obviously just natural manoeuvres in the air for them, but for me it was something else. Basically it got me thinking anew and within 30 minutes I had brush in hand and was busily creating something new. Inspiration will eventually strike, never doubt it!