Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On The Nature of Inspiration

Today's entry, this time a cat made in calico, to the same pattern as the knit ones; basically it's a couple of cylinders joined together. As you can see, it works rather better in knit than cloth, as knit is stretchier. The print with the Japanese on it was chosen because their word for cat, miu-miu, is a homonym for the word for inspiration, niu-niu,* and I needed all the help I could get today.

I was almost completely unwilling and uninspired to make this. It didn't help that my room (I usually sew or knit sitting on my bed) was freezing cold, since I'd forgotten I'd left the window open, and my hands did not really want to do fine work.

But as Leah said in the comments to the last one, it is good to notice these things, to observe judgment and resistance; for when you can see something you can acknowledge it, and then, get past it. And it seems to me that these sort of inner judgments are a large part of artist's block, a way to keep things from flowing.

That judgmental voice keeps saying this doesn't count, that it's not Art, capital A; and that voice also tells me I'm an uninspired loser for choosing to do something so easy, something I knew I could get done quickly even though I was unwilling.

I've been out of the painting loop for so long now I don't know how to get back into it. I've got paintings that have sat there half-finished for so long I no longer work in the medium I started them in; and I keep thinking that this is supposed to be a blog about my Goddess work, not this other stuff, and so who wants to hear about this anyway?

And so I work myself into a bind (I am really, really good at this) and don't know where to start or how to tease anything out; yet I know that feeling like I should! now! is not helping at all but making things worse.

Inspiration is kind of like intuitive eating, I think. Finding out what you want, when you want, and listening to the cues your soul/body are giving you, and not doing/eating something just because you "should;" these are tricky skills to learn.

And it is, after all, all the same thing, despite what I've been taught about High Art and low art, or the supposed difference between Art and craft. After all, inspiration to create is borne of our link to the Divine, or at least I believe it is; and at the soul level, there is no distinction made, no judgment passed on the results of that inspiration. And anyway, I should take my own name, Thalia, as evidence: for Thalia is the name of one of the Greek Goddesses of Inspiration, the Muses, and Her realm, Her sacred Art, is, of all things to our modern ears, the Art of Comedy. Which, if you know your Greek plays, is of an especially bawdy, earthy kind. Yet it is just as sacred, just as much a proper offering to Dionysos as any tragedy.

*I totally made that up.


Leah said...

first off. it's totally Art in my book. secondly, don't discount the things you think of as easy. i couldn't make that cat. i wouldn't know where to begin as i don't work well in three dimensions and can barely sew a button on a jacket. good for you for giving yourself permission to make cats all month. who knows what will come if you just let yourself play and have fun. maybe your hands will want to paint a cat next (something "easy" and fun?) who knows? either way, i'm enjoying seeing your kitty creations!!

Thalia said...

Thank you Leah. This Art Every Day Month thing is really, really kicking my ass, though. I mean really. I don't know.

KrisMrsBBradley said...

I personally think that anything you partake with joy in your heart (of suffering in your soul, as the case may be!) and a lick of inspiration should be considered art.

There is no way on earth I could create something like that! I've got two left thumbs, lol! I love the kitties!

Melissa said...

I think your cuddle'ly kitties are ca-ute! I've also been recently inspired by cats.

The Lady honors all creations - big and small, 'easy' and 'not-easy.' I agree with the others...I'd be lost trying to do what you've done! Bravo!

SHE is leading you always and all ways. She's funny like that.

~Blessed Be~

Evn said...

...and so who wants to hear about this anyway?

Me. Oh, and my friend Apocrypha, who is desperate to purchase the first cat you made. (Etsy, maybe?)

Thalia said...

Thanks everyone.

I can't believe, though, that that first ratty-looking black cat-thing is so popular. I mean, come on, desperate?

I think I will have a drawing and give it away. Who's in?

Evn said...

I'm in!

-ked'a said...

I am *so* in!