The taste of the apple does not reside in the mouth of the eater– neither is it in the apple itself. It requires the exchange between them.
–Jorge Luis Borges quoting Bishop Berkeley
This quote captures the essence of the creative pattern.
The muse, as creative inspiration, enters. She is not in us alone, or in our work– but in the mingling between the two. This adds a third aspect, the other, and the creativity of the number three– as indicated in the painting you see.
I am reminding myself of this as I struggle with my paintings.
We can get in a dilemma as artists, if we decide that the “problem” exists either in oneself or in the piece of work. For example, I say: “I just don’t have what it takes to do this– ” or "I hate this painting!" A more constructive question is: “How can I begin a dialog with my painting? Ask the painting directly: "What color do you want?”
Asking the right kind of questions helps me to get out of my head and into the painting (or writing, or any dilemma). We send out an invitation and activate imagination. And then, dive in!
This is how it came out in a poem I wrote:
On Staying Current With Vowels
The shape of what I want to say
is not in this syllable,
but in what I have left out.
It is what happens
when this sound,
the openness of a vowel tastes
a hard consonant
in my heart.
A new sound rises–
it belongs to me.
On Staying Current With Vowels, L Doctor