I was lying in bed the other night and a narrative popped into my head. I have learned that when the words start to link in my mind or images start to appear not to wait until morning. I got out of bed, grabbed my laptop and started writing. It was 1 AM.
After the flow of word images started to ebb, I looked outside to see a rising waning crescent. Its curve was as red as the earth. I sometimes think I am merely a child of the Moon and she’ll have her way when she calls me.
I am naturally a nighthawk. I rarely go to bed before midnight and now that I live “central” it is technically an hour later than the late I have always done.
Everyone has a part of the day when they are most productive. I have two – one for painting and one for writing. I paint best between 2 and 10 pm. My writing time is in the wee hours – 11 pm to 2 am. I find as lay my head down on a cool pillow my mind starts to flow and the restrictions of a left brain day dissolve into memory and fantasy. Sometimes, I play music and it often molds the landscape my mind wanders. Words and images come.
Occasionally painting ideas arrive mixed in with the words. After reading an article by Keith Bond about writing your painting as a way of understanding what moves you to paint, I see I had this as a useful tool all along. Sometimes the images come first, sometimes the words, but for me, they are inextricably linked.
The result of this little writing session was a 500 word creative non-fiction piece called “The Colour of Memory”. I plan to share it on the blog at some point. But not yet. It needs a painting.
In the meantime, I have been obsessed with the colour red. As per one of my New Year’s goals, I wanted to start keeping sketch/notebooks. I decided to make beaded leather pouches for them so that I don’t lose my Sharpie! The two at the top fit my 3.5×5.5″ Moleskine.
The work in progress at right is Red Rock Canyon. Many of you recognized the potential in one of the photos and so I have the underpainting on a 30×36 inch canvas. I am rusty, so it is slow going!
So when does inspiration come to you? Do you have best hours, best places, triggers?