My Ferocious Female Feline Friend, Tika
Perched in the Climbing Gym, 2000
As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary:
NOUN : 1. a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. b. The condition of being so stimulated. 2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention. 3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired. 4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: "a painting full of inspiration." 5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind. 6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
I find several interesting things about this definition. Primarily, I've begun to feel that felt that from a cultural perspective, triggers which evoke inspiration are for the most part positive in nature. This neglects what I feel is equally important to positive sources of inspiration...that which is benign as well as down right dark. The dictionary definition is neutral with respect to the color of the stimulation, and that all which is needed to qualify as inspiration is that the mind be subject to a high level of feeling or activity. This should be inclusive of a complete spectrum of powerful emotional responses to inspirational stimuli. For me, this is very true. Many of the darker chapters in my life contribute significantly to a personal necessity towards further cultivation of these creative psycho-physical emotional exploration suggesting overtures. To draw an metaphor from the 6th dictionary definition, there is a chance that a choking miasma is all you get when you try to draw that precious air into your lungs. I hope to explore this more in an essay on introspection and mania.
Wildflowers Growing on an Airstrip,
Northern Alberta, 1997
It is an eclectic coalescence of many seemingly different elements that function as significant inspiration in both my life and my exploration. As they are all intricately interconnected, singling out individual elements would certainly be misleading if on were not to consider their cumulative effect. In trying to put together a page to share with you some of the many things that inspire me, I was a little apprehensive that by segregating the individual elements, their symbiant-like co-dependance might get lost.
Prior to listing a series of links which detail specific regions related to inspiration, there is one muse that stands out and warrents discussion seperate from the list which will shortly follow. This is not to say she is somehow removed from the concept of a unified inspiration, quite the contrary. She is a unifying force of significant magnitude and the cohesive qualities she brings to everything we share is magic. Her name is Isabel.
My sister's best friend, Megan was getting married on Halloween, 1999. At the costume reception, I met a most enchanting woman, dressed as a Greek Goddess. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me, as I was dressed as a Paleolithic Cave-Man Barbarian. Allow me to dispell any reveries you may be entertaining about Homo-NeanderJasonus clubbing this one over the head and dragging her back to his cave. She is a fiercly independant and intelligent young woman. The conversation was, to put it mildly, stimulating and intense. I was spellbbound.
Isabel in RedRocks,
The magic continues to this day, and I feel most fortunate to share many of my growth experiences in the company of this beautiful woman. She is kind, energetic, adventuresome, and smart. She continually inspires me to grow and I love her deeply. Every minute we spend in each other's company is an adventure in it's own right, however we have also enbarked upon many outdoor adventures together as well. While the degree of inspiration associated with these experiences is enormous, sharing them with Isabel increases their depth and bredth many orders of magnitude. Click here to see images from some of the many adventures we have experienced together.
I'm not sure why, but for me there is something almost instinctually inspirational gazing upon the reminants of something that is over 10,000 years old. Both the origins of the human animal, as well as the fossilized remains of what must have been magnificent creatures roaming the earth millions of years ago infuses me with a sense of awe. If this is not inspirational, I am not sure what is.
With specific reference to early hominid remains, I think that it is fascinating that they left behind more than their bones...prehistoric art transends time and offers a glimps into the recesses of human primordial inspiration. What did these creatures dream about? Often, when I look at the reminants of their art I momentarily understand the need to express and process life via the venue of art. Browse through some of the following images and imagine what the world might have looked like 50,000 years ago....or 50,000,000 years ago!
Grass growing on an Airstrip,
Northern Alberta, 1996
This was a difficult list to compile, as there are many, many different artists whos works have been a source of exceptional inspiration to me. By no means complete, I have tried to put together an as varied selection as possible to try to give you some sense of perspective on the types of works which I feel bear influence on my creative experiences. Not only have these works influenced the artistic explorations I endeavour; their influence runs much deeper, touching many aspects of my intellectual, physical, and emotional development.
Comming soon....a literary exploration you will wish you never read!
Skaha, British Columbia, 2000