Do you ever have an “Artist’s Block” and don’t know what to paint? You search everywhere for inspiration but just can’t seem to get inspired about anything? Well….Jack had the perfect answer.

We’ve lived in the Hawaiian Islands three different times, staying on Ohau, the Big Island and Maui. The picture above was taken in front of a giant banyan tree near Lahaina, Maui. When Jack and I lived in Kihei, around the island from Lahaina, we had gone upcountry one afternoon after finishing painting for the day. Stopping at a small store for a coke we ran into a group of artists. Jack overheard them talking about going to the volcano the next day to get INSPIRATION! You know that Jack, he butted in and told them we were also artists. Then he asked, “How do you get inspiration from a volcano?”

One responded, “Oh, it comes from Pele. She’s the Goddess of Fire. Communing with her gets us in the mood to paint!”

Jack looked sorta skeptical with one eyebrow raised and uttered a long, “HMMMMMMMM………”

So another of the artists blurted indignantly, “Well, where do you get YOUR inspiration?”

Jack paused for a bit, making sure he had everyone’s full attention. He then announced crisply, “From FEDEX!”

They all looked totally blank. One of the artists ventured a timid, incredulous whisper, “FedEX?”

Meanwhile I was trying to keep a straight face and not laugh out loud. Jack knew he had them so he didn’t answer right away. Finally he continued in his long, drawn out Texas drawl, “Well…………We get all our bills once a week by FedEX. If we don’t paint, they don’t get paid. That gives us plenty of inspiration. Besides we like to eat. Can’t do that if you’re not producing your art and selling it! Just get to painting, that’s your job. Paint yourself into the mood!”

I’ve got the giggles just remembering the looks on those artists’ faces when he told them that. What a hoot!

Lots of Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


17 Responses to “INSPIRATION!”

  1. bonita austin Says:

    Great story – great photo.

  2. joannecali Says:

    too funny. My cousin lives in Maui now – loves it.

  3. Alison Duke Says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I just love it.

  4. Venkatarao Rao Says:

    Wonderful anecdote!! We were under the same tree in Lahaina, saw a great art show under the tree. Beautiful weather,bought some coral jewelry near there . Loved Maui!!

  5. Hilda Thurman Says:

    What a good story teller! Glad you shared your picture and his humor.

  6. Tami Baron Says:

    That was a belly laugh. Good one.

  7. Kate Pearce Says:

    Jack was a character, but so inspirational. He really had a way of getting to the point. No nonsense, just keep working!

  8. Janet Zeh Says:

    Ah, just like Jack – and so true. He was an inspiration in himself. Thanks for sharing that great story!

  9. Kim Youmans Says:

    Love it !

    There is a book ” Even Mystics Have Bills to Pay ” Author , Rev . Jim Rosemergy , I think it is available on Amazon . I chose years ago to go into commercial art / graphic design before the age of computers,( makes me feel like a dinosaur ). Coming from a hard working middle class family , not only did I pay for art school myself but i had to pay my rent ( upon graduating ) , for my car , eat etc… I was forced to be practical . Amazing how motivating a landlord can be !

    Lol. Perfect ! Thanks for sharing.

    Kim Goins Kosek Intl ARTISAN GROUP

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      I’m a dinosaur too! Also came from a hard working middle class family and did the same as you. I earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Illustration, did tons of pen and ink drawings ON PAPER. Illustrated about 40 major medical books plus scores of articles. The field has now gone to computers. When the switch was happening Jack said, “WELL….we can get you a computer so you can start all over, learning to do your medical art on them. OR, I can teach you to paint and we’ll say goodbye to working for doctors.” That was an easy choice to make!

  10. Allan Jaworski, Theatre Scenic Art Says:

    I really like looking at your procedures. I studied opera painting in 1972, never quit the dream after 8 years as scenic artist in the 1980s. Faso opened me up between job but I got cold feet again because marketing in America comes before Art, all forms. I am mellow to enjoy the passion I brush anyway. My father actually learned from my technique but passed 8 years ago, no one replaces him. I promiced to use FASO again to retrieve my trial supply of input.
    Back. Your paintings are many so I hate to express your convention. Your light comes from you.
    I would like to study Hopper and Industrial poster art soon.

  11. Margaret Smolarski Says:

    I’m siting at my dining room table reading your story and next to me is a stack of bills that I am unable to pay right now. I was going to put them away so I don’t have to look at them.But after reading your story I,m to leave them on the table , they will be my inspiration to paint. Thank for sharing that story.

  12. Says:

    Laughing out loud! 😂

  13. Prissy Day Says:

    Loved it! Thanks for sharing. Such practical, good advice. A good reminder – just paint. My daughter told me the other day, “I’m not sure if I like the new painting you’re working on.” My hubby gave me some sound advice. “It’s your painting…you’re doing it. Make it whatever you like.” After hearing that, I felt happy with it again.

  14. Paul Baudry Says:

    That’s just too funny! There is a lot of truth in the Fed-Ex explanation! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Candy Says:

    I guess the Fedex inspiration idea is a great illustration of the old adage, necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks for the laugh.

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