When I was a child, I read the Spanish dramatist, Pedro Calderon de la Barca's play, "Life is a Dream". The story is about Segismundo, Prince of Poland, who has been hidden and imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilio, following a prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to King Basilio. Segismundo is freed briefly, but when he goes on a rampage, the king imprisons him once again, persuading him that it was all a dream. Segismundo claims,
What is life? A frenzy.
What is life? An illusion,
a shadow, a fiction,
and the greatest good is small;
for all of life is a dream,
and dreams, are only dreams.
I am reminded of it because lately I feel like my real life begins when I fall sleep and that when I wake up, my life is just a continuation of my dream life. I know that may sound crazy, but here is an example. One night I felt in love with a woman that I met in my dream. I still see her sometimes in my sleep and when that happens, I awake and I pretend that nothing is real. But, I miss her so much. I have painted her many times; I even thought I saw her once in a café in Paris. I drew her face and had it tattooed on my arm. The woman in Paris was not her; she is only in my dreams.
When I am dreaming, I think I can be and do anything; I am invincible. Everything is a perfect fantasy without limitations. I have always questioned where my inspiration for my paintings comes from.
My dear friend, actor Jordi Molla, told me that inspiration mostly comes from God. This was the divine light which painters from the Romantic era expressed with such beauty and detail.
So then I think that it must be this light. However, does that light shine in my waking life or in my dream life? It is within that mental and philosophical chaos and debate of existence where my talent takes over my body and expresses itself.
Inspiration is a very important topic for me, because I almost did not believe in myself. Even sometimes now after all these years of being an artist I feel insecure.
What if the inspiration stops coming to me?
What if not one new idea comes to me and when I stand in front of a canvas I will draw a blank and never be able to take brush to canvas ever again?
When that happens though, no matter where I am, I start drawing and painting without direction... without thinking, I just keep working and I enter a sort of trance or meditative state... just like dreaming.
Sometimes it might last two minutes, other times it can last for many hours. When I finally awake from this dream-like state, I realize who I am and why I am here; that my purpose has not changed and I smile.