Last week I was told that my oldest son described my approach to my work as "the depth of an artist's vision is so far beyond what the layman sees." As my friend related this to me, I realized that my 'Pursuit of the Artist's Arcanum" (to use my book title) was so much a part of what I do that even my children had soaked it up.
As artists, we do see things more in depth. It's not just a pretty sunset, it's a whole world of hues, depth, color and air. How many times while driving down the road would I point out to the children 'look at those clouds! how many colors of grey do you see? look how the clouds constantly shift and billow or softly fade away...' When they go to get the mail, I would ask 'what did you notice? Did you just go out and get the mail or did you walk and look at the sky, notice what wildflowers were blooming, see the dewdrop in the spider's web?' Artists were created to 'see' more, and we can experience things more deeply because of this. However, this brings us to the artist's responsibility. We've always told our children that privileges come with responsibilities - and the artist's responsibility to the privilege of 'seeing' things is to communicate this depth, this beauty, to others through our artwork in such a way that they too can experience 'seeing' these things.
A newborn baby is a beautiful experience, but seeing it beautifully and excellently portrayed through a sculpture or painting brings the viewer the privilege of seeing it in a newer and deeper way. Or by bringing abstract concepts into a tangible focus - like my sculpture of "Cello" representing the beautiful intimacy between a man and woman in a lyrical interpretation. (the back of the female figure being the shape of the 'Cello' the sculpture combines the experience of beautiful played music with the experience of marriage)
Inspiration is always around us, it's just learning to see and then to communicate that 'seeing' through the artwork we create.
"There is not a living organism, not an inert object, not a cloud in the sky, not a green shoot in the meadow, which does not hold for him (the artist) the secret of the great power hidden in all things. Look at the masterpieces of art. All this beauty comes from the thought, the intention which their creators believed they could see in the universe. Why are our Gothic cathedrals so beautiful? It is because in all their presentment of life, in the human images which adorn their portals, and even in the plants which flourish in their capitols, you can discover a trace of the divine love." - Rodin