The Revival of Inspiration

Some while back I wrote piece on inspiration (see The ‘Ah!’ Moment). I called it a fickle thing, something that you had to create the right conditions for. I wasn’t wrong.

In 2012, several events took my attention, emotion and time, understandably interrupting my ‘creative flow’. A small break from my painting became a long hiatus, which in turn became a yawning period of drought, not only in my artwork but also in my blogs. During that time, I simply lost interest – there were more important, life-changing things to concern myself with. Gradually though, when the dust settled and life returned to ‘normal’, I started looking for inspiration again. I found it. And slowly it has gathered weight and momentum.

Cloud Break – Dieuwke Swain DESignsCloud Break – Dieuwke Swain

So what got me back into the saddle? Over the last two years I have visited many exhibitions, too many to list here. Mostly in the Netherlands, but some in the UK, Portugal, the US and the Czech Republic. A lot of colourful, striking, original objects, some surprising, some reassuringly familiar. Also, I’ve been to some very beautiful places and have seen some stunning landscapes.

In this period I have also taken up running. What’s that got to do with painting or photography? When you start running you are fully focused on breathing and getting to the next point at which you’re allowed to walk. After a while, you gain experience, can keep running further and longer and you start to look around you at the world passing by (albeit at a painfully slow pace in my case). You appreciate all the little things you see. This is also inspiration. And makes you damn glad to be alive!

All these stimuli, these catalysts… They have succeeded in inspiring me. I’m at the point where the tip of the paintbrush meets the forsaken canvas. A long-standing ‘work in progress’ has been dusted off and is ready to be completed. A lot of conversations with a wide variety of like-minded creative people have also unearthed some long forgotten ideas and have helped to grow some new ones. It feels like spring. It’s time to take action.


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