Monday, October 11, 2010


1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to to do something creative.
2. A sudden brilliant or timely idea.
3. The drawing in of breath; inhalation.
origin: Middle English (in the sense of divine guidance): via Old French from late Latin inspiration(n-), from the verb inspirare

Just got back yesterday from the yearly "Ojai Studio Artists Tour" and as always I got my creative shot in the arm! It's wonderful to see so many different kinds of artists expressing themselves in ways that are unique to their own creative spirits. (And of course seeing where they live and work!) I will be posting about them later in the week but until then I thought I'd share something Martha Graham wrote and a piece I worked on in my last pastel workshop.

I worked from a photo I had taken on a nature walk last Christmas Day with my family. The sun was going down and the light was amazing.

Ojai Christmas Pastel on LaCarte paper 2010

From a Letter to Agnes DeMille
from Martha Graham

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is;
nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly of the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.


BB said...

This made my creative juices bubble :)

donna baker said...

Beautiful pastel. That is one medium I have never tried, but would love to.

Unknown said...

Great art.

Joyce said...

Beautiful my friend! The highlights are perfect. Looks as if Mr. Sun is gently kissing each blade of grass and leave a good-night and sweet dreams. xo

Victoria said...

Beautiful post in words and art..gorgeous!

Heather Jacks said...

Beautiful, beautiful work. I needed to hear the words about inspiration today. I am in a bit of a creative slump. Thanks for sharing your talent.

KathyA said...

1. "Ojai Christmas" is amazingly beautiful!
2. As is that letter...
Thanks for sharing.

Loree said...

Beautiful painting. You have a wonderful talent.

Deanna said...

OHHH I love this Lu! Beautiful.. One of my favorites!
I am in awe of your talent! :)

Cobalt Violet said...

BB So glad your creative juices are going! Strike while the iron is hot! :)

Donna - you should try them! If you do, definitely use a sanded paper! You can layer like a painting and it's so fun!

Costas, Kiki and Joyce - thank you guys so much! I started doing pastels a little over a year ago and I feel like I am starting to get it!

Heather- you are welcome - that letter was given to me from someone in a writing class and it was so helpful to me too! Good luck, you are so talented!

Kathy, Loree and Deanna - you guys are so sweet. Thanks for the encouragement!

PK Studios said...

Your brother-in-law says " F@#$!%&! A"..."that's rocking"! : ) that a new one?

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Your piece is fantastic...I can feel the California sunset and hear the leaves and grass rustling...Martha is one smart cookie!

Turid said...

Beautiful - as always. You've captured the light in an amazing way.

Cobalt Violet said...

PK - tell Greg thanks! :) And yes it's new - September.

Turid and Kerry - Grazie mille ladies! ;)

Diana Strinati Baur said...

ciao, my sweet friend. I have been AWOL for far too long. The B&B has taken me and slung me around a bit - that's fall in the wine country for you!! This post is absolutely stunning, as is so much of what you put out there, Lucinda. It's what I need to read. I am in a tired state right now, really depleted, having worked a very long time with no days off (it's a good thing to have a booked B&B but also a double edged sword). Anyway, that will change in Nov. and I will be filling my days with writing, ceramics and mosaics. So I will take this beautiful post to heart and keep it close to me to remind me that tiredness is just that - tiredness. It's not permanent and not a sign that I am losing my creative edge. I just need rest. And that is ok.


Anonymous said...

Melissa N ...

Awesome Lu ... just awesome!!!

Cobalt Violet said...

Diana- sounds beyond hectic in your world and that you are in definite need of rest, quiet and time to refill the well. Hang on - November is around the corner and just remember to breathe! Be well my friend. I will be thinking of you!

Melissa - thanks for visiting and the complement! :)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Lovely pastel, Cobalt. I am visiting through Ruthie's blog. So nice to see your images and read your thoughts about SoCal and abroad. Thanks for sharing Martha G's passion. Peace.

leilaniduffins said...

That is simply breath taking. You have just inspired and reminded my of my first love Art in Photography! I don't know how to paint or draw however I do have a rare talent of looking at the world a different way through a view finder. So within the next couple of month after I start school. I will get back with my childhood sweetheart and pick up where we left off! Thank you for doing what you do!

Leilani Shree

Rosa said...

Gorgeous! You are writing too!