There is an excellent movie about Agnes Martin called With My Back to the World. In this wonderfully meditative film, Martin, like a wise Yoda, said that she waited for inspiration. Inspiration came to her as a vision of a small painting that she felt she was to paint. When she finished that painting, with all of it's exacting measurements, she would then simply wait for the next inspiration before she painted again. Once she had to wait for 5 months for the next inspiration to come along.
That's not the way it is for most artists, from the reading I've done. Most say to just get in there, start playing. Just begin. I have already been out of my studio for 4 months and I haven't had an inspiration yet. A few ideas perhaps, but not a clear vision. Agnes might think I hadn't waited long enough.
Shaun McNiff, in his book Trust the Process, says that " We do not have to know where we are going at the beginning of the creative act. Successful expression involves the ability to let materials and unplanned gestures lead the way. The purpose of the work comes from the act of doing it. Ideas emerge through the movement of painting."
It helped me to begin by pulling out some old paintings, scraping them back a bit and working on them. Something easier about beginning again when the painting I'm working on is already a failure. My thought was that I surely can't wreck a failure. It felt so good to be back to work. New ideas. New colours.
The American sculptor, Stephen DeStaebler said, "Artist's don't get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working"