Energy is the ability to do work. Examples of physical energy include electricity, heat, light, and sound; but energy can also be metaphysical. Ideas are forces, impelling us to action. Love insists that we do good to the people we love. Fear tells us that the object of our fear will destroy us, and self-interest demands that we separate from whatever might destroy us. Internal energy, in the form of ideas, emotions, and relational needs, is difficult to resist, or even understand.
What sparks creative energy? – I don’t know if it is possible to categorize inspiration, but I know that I am inspired by two things: practical truth and magnificent design. I get excited when ideas work, when colours match, when sounds harmonize. Controlled grandeur is fascinating: a high hillside of fresh-cut, windrowed hay, a long, even slope of clouds, tall trees, perfect curves in shells, and rows of tidy homes on carefully manicured streets. Nature and society often freely order themselves into patterns, whether aesthetic or active, and each pattern calls to me like light flashes in a gem. Birds predictably build nests, and I watch.
Patterns collect and echo in my memory, finally tumbling out in paintings. It’s as though the healthy patterns in nature and society—the cycles of action that predictably succeed—are delightful, self-charging units of energy, which, as I watch them, make me feel alive, excited, and energetic. Functional and aesthetic harmony fuel my mind.
What fuels you?