inspiration and imagination



 “So much of every art is an expression of the subconscious that it seems to me most of all the important qualities are put there unconsciously, and little of importance by the conscious intellect.”
Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. One of the weaknesses of much abstract painting is the attempt to substitute the inventions of the human intellect for a private imaginative conception.The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form and design.The term life used in art is something not to be held in contempt, for it implies all of existence and the province of art is to react to it and not to shun it.Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature’s phenomena before it can again become great. 
~Edward Hopper

Americana artist Edward Hopper started painting as a teen-ager but never saw his career take off until he was 41 years old. He was bitter about this. I was inspired by it.  I am sure Hopper would never of imagined it would be his persistence, not his paintings, that would serve as a source of inspiration. I mean here it is: at the end of the day we do not know how we have affected the world around us. Our only real job is to keep moving forward. And to move forward one must find ways to stay inspired. All our pain, angst, fears, depression, whatever it is, is not ours to judge it is just there. What is remembered, what is lauded, what is revered is motion.

Of course the irony is that the motion in Hopper’s paintings stems from the stillness, the sense of stagnated isolation.  But that’s it isn’t it? That’s life, a series of isolated moments that we have sewn together in our memories. Time marching forward.This is why we get so attached to things, we somehow believe that they hold a memory. A memory that we have confused with imagination. Memories are based on feelings, not facts. Which means that so many details of our memories are imagined.

When one realizes that half of our life comes from an imagined source it doesn’t seem so outrageous that Jean in Dead Man’s Cell Phone falls in love with a dead man she never knew.  That the thing she becomes so attached to is the cell phone. The thing that makes us all feel as though somehow we are part of something, as if it is the piece of the whole that keeps us connected, in essence our higher power. Her retaining his cell phone gives her ownership to his memories, to be the holder of someone else’s memories  is an act of intimacy. She feels the need to keep those memories alive and it is Need in various forms that causes one to fall in love. So why wouldn’t she fall in love with him?


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