Mine or theirs?

I've been thinking about influences and how they affect my work. I am conscious of noticing. Conscious of storing up details of line and pattern, images and ideas while at the same time forgetting the details of names and dates, locations and authors. My mind seems to be choosing its limits.

Catalysts is a piece devoted to the idea that noticing begets growth. Thank you to Piet, Pablo, William, Paul, Vasily, Theodore, Lee, Alexander, the bees, trees, birds and my grandchildren. Paula Kovarik

So what happens when I unconsciously add an image that another artist originated? How does that borrowing affect the interpretation of the work? My mind is like a bamboo thicket of remembered (and forgotten) detail. How does it all connect to a cohesive whole? Am I mimicking or channeling? Appropriating or hoarding?

And does it matter?

In this age of instants I crave the considered. The slow brewing. An uncrowded clarity of thought. But the slideshow is moving at a pace that keeps me breathless so I am never certain that the idea is original. Never sure if I am just broadcasting pre-processed thoughts.

influences in the ether

The final resting sequence in yoga yesterday brought unsolicited thoughts that were inspirational. But then I forgot to write them down and they disappeared like swallows. Dang, I lost them again. It was something about catching details in the maelstrom. Luring the unknown into the known.

Dreams do that too. They inspire, excite, titillate and awe and then tease, vanish and echo in waking moments. Like trying to grasp a fish in a river—slippery little devils. I want to capture and release them into my art.

I'm reading a book by Brian Doyle called Mink. In it he uses quotes from William Blake poems in a way that brings the mundane into the spiritual. One that has stuck with me since I read it: Everything has its own vortex.

Memory breathes the air of influences. Those little signposts that we log into our catalog of thoughts can often link in disconcerting ways. That flower rising up early this Spring? my mother's death. That song on the radio? an embarrassing adolescent moment. That image of the cat in the hat tipping his striped hat? The joy of rhyme and rhythm.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. Oh how we rhyme with so little time. 

Work in progress on Catalysts, Paula Kovarik