Saturday, February 27, 2010

Imitation vs. Inspiration

Every time after I have painted something that felt truly inspired to me and left me with such a feeling of pride of satisfaction, I want to do it again. And every single time, the second piece is alright, but doesn't feel inspired.

The same thing happened with the painting above. You can see the inspired painting here. This one looks good and even similar, but it wasn't nearly as fulfilling to paint it.

And I figured out what happens. I am trying to consciously imitate a process that didn't happen in my conscious mind. That means that with the second painting, I am always painting more from my head than from my intuition and therefore it's never as satisfying as the first one.

I decided that in the future, when I paint something that is truly inspired, afterwards I will paint something completely different, using different materials and techniques. Yesterday, that meant I picked up my acrylics again and I'll show you the result tomorrow.


  1. You're very right. People who paint basically the same thing over and over have a different thinking mechanism than when you are doing a *one of*. I am not judging either; it has taken me years to work in a series and even then, sometimes *I* am the only one who can see the natural progression of it.
    I have found that those wonderful moments of unconscious/completely conscious painting (drawing, designing, etc) are priceless and cannot be repeated at will.
    I love those.
    In fact, I can't wait till the tasks at hand are cleaned off the do-list and I am back to making pure soul satisfying art! :)


  2. I see what you mean -- I like both paintings, but the 2nd one does not have the emotional intensity of the first. Art is a process, and you're learning as you go. Thanks for being open enough to share your findings -- and your art -- with us.

  3. I like both paintings and both are intense. The first though has captured YOUR soul in the painting, what you were feeling at the time, not that it hasn't in the second one, but more intense. Your work is always good Silke. Have a great rest of the day and Sunday. Take care.

  4. I hate it when Blogger eats my comment.

    Now I want to know what you mean by the same? Most artists do the same thing it seems because it is their style. For example Modigliani painted similar genre and so did Rousseau and Chagall. That is why we can identify their works. To me, by different I think of Picasso painting as a realist then post impressionist then abstract, then cubism and sculptures.

    I have a totally different process for painting versus drawing. With painting it seems I am more introspective and tend to have so many routines and rituals whereas with drawing, I can draw while walking. I also feel adult emotions and deep introspection with painting while I feel so youthful and almost a child with drawing.

    I am almost compelled to conclude that I paint and draw to enable myself to brood, over-analyze everything and subject my emotions to deep dives. Doing those things by themselves wold seem so "mental". However my closest relations would argue that I brood because I paint. I truly rely on a muse.

  5. Out of the head and out of the heart are not the same but it doesn't mean they both are't good and have something to offer...We are where we are at any given moment and that's where our work comes from.....Thanks for sharing and being so transparent; it helps us all.
    Hugs and Blessings,

  6. Excellent your blog, congratulations!

    Thank you for being together. You are worth gold, and this special moment, has a gift for you on our blog. I hope you enjoy.



  7. Go with your spirit and your heart...the energy will then flow from within. You are right in that something won't work if you are simply trying to "imitate" the same process. It's the spirit that moves you...Theresa

  8. I think we all come to that realization however at times forget it and try to over come it. Paint with your heart.

  9. While what you say is completely cannot, or rather should not be forced.....your finished 2nd is still great! Just remember that each piece should be a unique exploration of your creative powers!

    ciao bella...


  10. Dear Silke,

    thank you for hugging me the other day, you are so pretty pretty pretty.
    are you a witch too like Ces?

    ps: i paint with my heart too, but sometimes i just have to wave my magic wand.

    much more xxoo and xxoo to you


  11. I totally get what you're saying about trying to re-do an inspired piece. I've finally come to the conclusion that it's just not the same and put that "left over" inspired energy into something new.

  12. There is no replay button in life or art.
    Both pieces are wonderful. The moment that produced the first painting will never be that way ever again.
    They are both beautiful things Silke, both moments you had.
    I am so grateful for the happy moments and pretty things. It makes it easier to handle the hard days.
    Sending love and hugs to you.

  13. I still think this is a magnificent painting, Silke. Perhaps the flow and emotions were not the same as with the first, but it is beautiful nonetheless. I especially admire the way you've highlighted the hose. It is a very strong and prominent feature. Wonderful! So. Painting is a learning process, and you've taught yourself something about the way you work. That is never a waste. Instead, you can look upon this painting as your epiphany.

  14. drats. NOSE. I meant to say nose, not hose.