Habits of Inspiration

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Blue Jar

 Every artist has their low moments when they think they’ll never be able to do another good painting. They are lost in a void staring at a blank canvas or sheet of paper and are frozen unable to pick up their brush or pencil. They sit waiting for inspiration to come to them. Days pass by then weeks then years and no paintings – no artwork comes forth.
   Then there are those artists that produce painting after painting. Artists who do not wait for inspiration, who find inspiration in everything around them and who seek it out. The simple act of laying down a stroke of color, or seeing a thigh appear as charcoal is drawn across a sheet of paper can inspire. Habit can be part of the inspiration. I know I am a creature of habit, hating change. Every morning I get to my studio, look at the plants on my windowsill, check for blossoms and dead leaves, both of which are inspirational because of their added color to the greens that dominate my potted plants. I check my email and browse Facebook for thirty minutes then I pick up my brush and begin to work. For thirty minutes or so it is just that, work. Slowly the process of mixing and applying paint becomes the most important thing in my life. I begin to release my feelings and use my knowledge to create a work that will connect to someone – someone I do not know and may never know. I mix what I see and what I want to see in my work with what I want and hope the viewer will see and feel. Every piece I create is first for myself, at least that is how each piece begins, but as the piece progresses I begin to want others to see and feel what I see and feel. The simple beauty of a mason jar full of flowers surrounded by gray clouds drifting by inspires me to lift my brush. Jordan reading a textbook by lamp light inspires me to lift my brush. Even if I cannot do paintings of what inspires me to lift my brush they still help me to work on what is on my easel and I file those inspirations away for future creations.
     Don’t wait for inspiration, it’s all around – just open yourself to what is around you.
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