Art is powerful. Did you know that Henri Matisse bought a painting by Paul Cézanne when he was a starving artist and could not afford to spend money on art? Yet the painting became a need for him.
He was working as a day laborer at the time and his wife was the breadwinner working as a dressmaker. Matisse had sold a few paintings but was by no means making a living off his art. In order to buy the painting he sold some of his own art and his wife pawned her emerald ring. Talk about being a supportive wife!
Cézanne's nudes were not popular at the time and even his friends were not supportive of these paintings. He was still years away from his first art show and was eking out a living with his artwork, yet Matisse was so inspired by the painting Three Bathers that he HAD to have it…and it ended up having a huge impact on Matisse. It didn't matter to Matisse that others didn't like it. Cézanne's work was like a spark to dry wood for him.
He held onto the painting for 37 years. In spite of poor finances throughout WWI he refused to sell it, instead he sold a Gauguin. He and his wife even pulled their kids out of school to save on tuition- but would not sell the painting. He finally donated it to a museum in Paris although I'm not sure what prompted him to do this.
I've been trying to think of things that have inspired me and there have been many; however, nothing has inspired me to this degree. The sparks are there, the slow burn is there, but the flames haven't fanned yet. While reading Madeline L'Engle's book Walking on Water, a line struck me. She says, "An artist at work is in a condition of complete and total faith." Maybe that's the root problem. A lack of faith. Something to work on for 2014.