I am often asked where my inspiration comes from and I usually respond duly, diligence and determination, but this question perhaps, deserves a more thoughtful answer. Many artists wish to respond to the beauty, or conversely, the anguish of the world, or use their art as a sort of spiritual threshing floor to sift through an emotional journey.

It seems to me that almost all art accomplishes one extraordinary thing; it connects mankind to his ancestry. It is true that we seldom think of it this way, but art is relevant because it either sees our present or it expresses our past. This doesn’t mean each individual can identify with all art. If someone says they appreciate all forms of music, they probably never really listen to any of it. So what part does ancestry play in inspiration?

Well usually that is the second question I am asked, who are your influences? I can site a litany of them. Anyone who really wants to grapple with paint should have a long list, so as to know whom to blame for their current intoxication.

Inspiration is a conspiracy. It is the blatant act of mimicking our hero’s and the heroic act of having the audacity to call it our own. It is this later display of mutinous courage that marks a composition as original. It is what makes it threatening and exciting, at least briefly, until it is consumed by the conflagration of imitations it sparks. That would be about the end of it, if did not resonate with some one whom, in another generation, rediscovers it, and is inspired to call it their own.

Philip Mix paints images of sundials, and other devices of marking time, and will not pretend to convince you other wise that the works give more than a passing nod to Pablo and his Cubist detractors. Philip and his wife Enma live in Chemainus B.C. He is represented by Winchester Galleries, Victoria, Steffich Fine Art, Salt Spring Island and Keystone Gallery, Calgary.

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