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St. Louis Throw
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During a recent trip to The Netherlands, I had the ultimate treat of visiting The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery.

There hangs (amongst many other treasures) Johannes Vermeer’s radiant “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, which is not a portrait, but a ‘tronie’ – a painting of an imaginary figure, although I’m sure inspired by someone he’d seen, known, or met combined with the conjurings of his mind. The lustre and luminosity of this magnum opus ensures you cannot help but mirror the open-mouthed gaze of the subject.

Vermeer’s dazzling masterpiece made me muse my muses – those rare, special people who somehow spark creativity, whether you are familiar with them or if you’ve only met them once. These unique people ignite something within that causes ideas to fizz and pop. Sometimes, just when you think it’s subsided, the flames rekindle like those birthday candles that keep reigniting and can’t be extinguished no matter how hard you try.

It’s a blue moon occurrence, muses can manifest in any form; they could be a stranger at a bus stop, a silent glance in the street, a lover or a familiar friend, but for whatever reason feelings are stirred, and a concept is formed, sometimes as a solo rocket streaking across the frontal cortex, sometimes as a barrage of starbursts erupting in the encephalon.

There are certainly one or two exceptional people in my life who’ve triggered explosions like fireworks that blaze through my mind. Of course I will never capture anything as brilliantly as Vermeer’s truly exquisite work, but I’m grateful for the fact my muses awaken notions that I can bring into being in my own humble way.