How does where you live influence your art if you’re not specifically a representative artist?
I used to go out painting and drawing in the area around where I’ve been living for the last sixteen years. Most of the surrounding area looks like this and for a long time writers and artists have drawn inspiration from its indescribable beauty. I spent enough time and threw enough paint at it for years. I’m not sure if it was the silence or the vast open spaces, or the search for the sublime and for meaning, or the crushing realization that so many others had come this way before -artistically speaking- that eventually I came to the conclusion that I must never paint from the landscape again.
So for a long time I worked indoors, with the curtains drawn, in a house in the middle of the village, which is enveloped by some of the most stunning natural surroundings in Western Europe, and got the work done, and it was the best thing I ever did. I still work like that except with the collage and pen-work I need more light to find dropped cuttings on the desk and floor, etc. I go out in the landscape every day I can, walking or on a bike, for hours, soaking it up. But without any art stuff.
Sometimes I feel a bit like I’m missing out on something, or that I should grab my paints and get out to set up an easel every time the sun breaks through the clouds. But I’ve learned to mentally swat away those impulses, and be content to live in such a special place. Maybe the only thing to do is to behave as if it isn’t there.