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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Rodgers

You’re my Inspiration? by Artist Cheryl Rodgers

I am often asked what inspires my paintings? And of course the answer is infinitely long and still developing.... Colour, for sure; emotion; the passage of time; a specific memory... and often 'a sense of place.’

When I travel, I know I will find inspiration. I don’t have to look for it so much as simply be open to it and absorb it. Relax, sit back, enjoy and let the sensations of the place be drawn inwards. A heady cocktail mixes in the subconscious and the cells and, after a little (or a long) time percolating, inspiration is borne.

So, a visit to Istanbul. A touristy run, not explicitly a research one but nonetheless... Who could fail to be inspired by the majesty of The Blue Mosque; by a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus, that most magical of rivers ceding between two continents; by the ornate architecture; by the hustle and bustle of a vibrant, lived-in city; by the quiet elegance of a gentleman in his shop selling exquisite silk pashminas? I loved it all. It couldn’t fail to inspire. But still. I just enjoyed. Not a sketch; not a pencil or paintbrush lifted. Photographs of course - who wouldn’t? But nothing as overt as a ‘reference.’

It was a few weeks later, at home, that I stood in front of a beautiful blank canvas in my studio... (not a fearful moment for me but a joyous one - a whole blank canvas to fill. Potential is all!) ... and from my brushes and palettes came three paintings in quick succession, full of colour and motif. Not replicating (not my style) but distilling somehow, my version of Istanbul. How curious. I had not registered any of these colours or symbols as raw materials for a painting and yet here they were. Into my eyes and via my senses, through my brain and out once more via my hands... There was help, surely, from a power somewhat greater than my own? It was Piet Mondrian who said “The position of the artist is humble. [S]He is essentially a channel.”


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