|Eileen Agar, Cerimonial hat for eating bouillabaisse (1936), from|
You see the shape of a tree, the way a pebble falls or is formed, and you are astounded to discover that dumb nature makes an effort to speak to you, to give you a signe, to warn you, to symbolize your innermost thoughts. Chance is not a neutral but a distinctly positive force; the surrealists believe that you can get on good terms with chance by adopting a lyrical mode of behavior and a open attitude.
My own method is to put myself in a state of receptivity during the day. I sit about sometimes for a quarter or an hour or more, wondering what on eart I am doing, and then suddenly I get an idea for something. Either it is the beginning of a title or just the germ of a visual image. Later on, if I am stuck with a half-finished painting, I might take a snooze and after that comes together quite simply. It may well be that we hunt to much when we are completely on the alert. Too much awareness can be as inhibiting as too little. [...]
Eileen Agar, "Am I a surrealist?" in Penelope Rosemont (ed), op. cit. p.91
Interesting Eileen portraits and photos of her works here