Sunday, July 19, 2020

Feeding the Creative Subconscious with Beauty

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is inspiration. What other media inspires us: fandom, music, photography, paintings?

For me, the answer is pretty much yes.

Yes to all of it. Books, poetry, news articles, music, visual arts of all kinds - it all feeds into a stewpot of inspiration for me. For today's post, however, I'll stick with visual arts, particularly paintings and drawings.

The above is a giclee by Diana Stetson called Raven Watching. My mom bought it for me a couple of weeks ago from a gallery in Santa Fe. It's an early birthday present, since the odds of us being together for my actual birthday aren't great. I love the sense of depth to this piece, and how the raven seems to be watching with a keen and knowing gaze. It looks exactly like the desert ravens around our house, too, so that's a lovely echo to bring indoors.

It's fitting, too, that my mom bought this gift for me, as she's the one who taught me to love art--largely by dragging me in and out of Santa Fe galleries on family vacations.

When I first began transitioning from being a scientist to a writer, I studied a great deal about being creative, especially the creative subconscious. One thing I gleaned was to surround myself with visual images that fed my subconscious. I read a quote from Anna Pavlova - which I inevitably can't find now - about the Imperial Ballet Academy where she studied. She said everywhere at the academy, they were surrounded by beauty - so that they would soak that in and bring it out again in their dance.

I took that to heart and surround myself with art that makes me feel reverence for the world. Sometimes I can point to specific inspirations. Other times... well, I hope that it's soaked in, ready to spring forth in new forms.

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