The Muse has arrived!

The Muse has arrived!

I can always tell if the Artist has his Muse because of the tuneless humming, occasional whistling (equally tuneless), that starts to accompany his studio sessions. It’s been a bit of a worry. He’s been all listless and doubting, silent and fretful, feeling blue, but in the metaphorical as opposed to the cobalt or cerulean sense. Thankfully, the Muse arrived at last. I reckon she took one look at Brittany Ferries and the prospect of a long haul in the Berlingo and hopped it at Portsmouth, sneaked off to Gatwick and blagged her way onto a flight to Malaga, where she’s been living it up these last few days. Honestly, such an opportunist. Nothing worse than a fussy Muse.

But she does have one big advantage: she’s tone- deaf. So she is able to function happily amidst the gently tuneless background, indeed she may even thrive on it. Quite what synapses are connecting with one another in Jim’s head between the visual/artistic and the auditory/verbal is unclear. But it does seem to work. It’s even possible to identify the odd familiar strain or lyric and, based on that, I reckon its safe to assume no connection whatsoever between vocal and artistic output. This morning we had: a lengthy repetition of a couple of bars of Viva España (I know, corny, but somehow apt and, on reflection, there may only be a couple of bars in that number); Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which at first sounded just like Happy Birthday to You (if you listen closely they do have chords or riffs in common); and finally, something vaguely echoing a Sinatra classic. So this dissonant medley accompanied the completion (well, as far as any artwork is ever complete) of a wonderful vibrant painting of Skye!

So, I hope he’ll forgive me for making light of it here; I can see how hard it is too. Not just the drive to make something, to mark the blank canvas with something of himself, but to do that in a strange environment where he feels momentarily displaced. There’s something about being displaced, even intentionally and in comfort as we are, that disrupts and unsettles…..