My Painting

How to find artistic inspiration

A while back I and a small group of aspiring artists decided to ” go look ”  for artistic inspiration. We picked the only beach in the area in which we could drive on the sand without getting in trouble, and carry along a picnic complete with a couple of bottles of wine.

It was late spring and we went just before sunset. We unfolded our beach chairs and picnic table, the guys in the group dug a hole in the sand and lit a small fire ( yes, it was allowed), then we set up our table with snacks, wine, cameras, and sketch pads.

Except for our group, the beach was practically deserted and we sat there until late evening sipping in our drinks and listening to the waves splashing against the sand.

But it was the glorious sky gone ablaze with brushstrokes of crimson, gold, silvery blue and magenta that made me wonder – Where did the word inspire came from –  It turns out that the roots of inspire come from the Latin word inspir, which means ” to breath into”. This to me seems to mean that the moment when we are touched by inspiration and are compelled to create, we are actually ” breathing life into” our creation.

    So, where does inspiration come from…

Inspiration comes from nature, as I have described above. It can also happen while meditating. When a new idea blooms out of the fertile human imagination. It can happen to us in dreams, while we pray or when reading sage writings, or while in pursuit of a scientific endeavor.

             The mythology of inspiration

The ancient Greek believed they got their inspiration from the Muses. the nine Mythical daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the Goddess of memory. The Greeks thought those nine Muses – Calliope, Clio. Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania – inspired human beings in all forms of knowledge and creative endeavors. The Greeks said that you would feel the breath of the Muse if she found your creative spirit worthy.

                   What inspires the artist

It is a question that most artist regularly hear, but inspiration is a curious idea…

The amount of influence that can affect the nature and creativity of an artist work is countless and to pinpoint a true inspiration is difficult, to say the least. Yet, it is without question that each artist has its own unique set of influences that bring inspiration to his work.

     For me :

I was first inspired as a young girl by the classic and the beautiful artworks in the European galleries and museums, Now my art keeps me centered and allows me to escape into my own world. Before I even reach for my brushes and canvas I have been visualizing the subject I want to compose for a while, then I start by connecting to the ”mood” I want to express and I begin with an outline with a minimum of brushstrokes and I begin building my composition from that. The time it takes for my painting to get finished usually depends on the size of the work, the complexity of the subject, and even the urgency of my inspiration.  At times I get stuck and can’t proceed with my work; when this happens I take the canvas out of the studio and place elsewhere in the house, somewhere from  I can still see it while I go about doing other things. As it usually happens, I begin to see all kinds of things happening in my painting while I am not focusing on it,  new shadows and light, new forms I could not see there before. At this point, my painting begins to come back to life for me again with renewed inspiration. My work is mostly Realistic, but I do go off into Surrealism and, often, Fantastic Realism.

  What to do when inspiration eludes us

There  are times when imagination and inspiration seems to have abandoned us, we become very unproductive  and frustrated in many areas of our lives-these are not enjoyable times – But while we wait for the mythical Muse to come back and find our artistic spirit worthy of her ”breath of life” again, we can still find ways to ignite our imagination and recapture our inspiration.

In the meantime, the following ideas can  help:

     17 ways to stay inspired

  1.   Take something apart and put it back together again.
  2. Listen to music while daydreaming for 5 minutes.
  3. Talk with energetic children frequently.
  4. Record your dreams.
  5. Go for a walk while listening to music.
  6. Go for a walk without music.
  7. Go somewhere you have never been before.
  8. Go somewhere that has old architecture.
  9. Dedicate 15 minutes every day to brainstorming.
  10. Meet with creative people.
  11. Seek out people that you respect and ask a lot of questions.
  12. Learn a new art form.
  13. Learn a new word each day.
  14. Write down the reason why you love creating things.
  15. Get lots of rest.
  16. Observe someone else being creative.
  17. Do something you did for fun when you were young.

”We are all artists painting our lives over the canvas of reality. Mix your own colors and apply emotion liberaly.Don’t be afraid to let your brustrokes show,and above all else make sure your art has soul” by C. Rodger


Feel free to share your thoughts on inspiration below

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