Many times famous artists inspire the creativity of others.
One of my favorite elementary school art lessons was influenced by Michelangelo. My students each taped a sheet of paper beneath their tables. They had a direct experience in feeling what it was like to paint above their heads. One of the most memorable student questions still makes me chuckle. Since Michelangelo took four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel a student wondered, do we have to spend four years making our paintings? I bet you have the very same question. Being tender-hearted, I only required one class period, measured in minutes rather than years.
Michelangelo also inspired my sonnet.
A sculptor first and foremost in his heart
was Michelangelo, Italian born.
When asked to paint the ceiling with his art
responded to the Pope with mighty scorn.
Well, “painting is my shame” as you can see.
The metamorphosis of marble block,
he carved until he set the angel free.
His masterpieces – cloth and skin from rock!
Consenting to the Sistine ceiling scenes,
built scaffolding so he could make his mark.
His skyward gaze provided him the means
to paint four years until the disembark.
Through cramping neck and paint dripped face he brought
to life the God whom mankind long had sought!
Copyright, Wolfe, Linda M., Lyrical Iowa, 2008
Last but not least, the Bosnian immigrant and artist, Paco Rosic, was motivated by Michelangelo. Using the unconventional medium of spray paint, Paco recreated his rendition of Michelangelo’s ceiling in a Waterloo, Iowa building. It became Galleria de Paco. Until Covid-19 hit, this establishment was a restaurant offering fine European fare in a breathtaking atmosphere. This attraction drew visitors from around the world! When my husband and I dined there, despite the fact that the delicious food was beautifully arrayed on the plate, I just wanted to take in all the paintings. It was not a trip to Europe, but it was certainly the next best thing.
Paco is currently feeding his creativity. He hopes to eventually reopen as a coffee shop, utilizing the space for its original purpose of showcasing his new art.
I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t answer a question that must be hovering in the back of your mind. Did my students also use spray paint for their paintings? While that is a logical inquiry, I feel it is time to reassure you. No, my students used watercolor paints because we weren’t allowed to apply the fresco technique on the underside of our school tables. Oh, and spray paint wasn’t lingering in my supply closet.
Contemplate who or what inspires your muse in absolutely any field or area. Imagine your possibilities!