(302) 24 x 30
I painted this larger figure painting from a photo of my sons when they were younger.
I read with keen interest Karen Appleton's post about exploring that small spark of inspiration that suddenly hits you out of nowhere--and then trying to figure out the best way to incorporate it into your work...weeks, months, even a year later. Thinking about how we are inspired, I realized that I used to think I was the only one who held onto tiny snippets of ideas that evolved into paintings in my head waiting to see the light of day, until I read Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit". As I have mentioned before, Twyla writes about the importance of gathering little sparks of inspiration from a wide variety of sources, never judging or over-thinking them, but instead placing them in boxes to be studied later when she analyzes how they all fit together.
Also, I saw a fascinating Marc Jacobs documentary last year where he studied other designers's work and gathered materials/fabrics/clothing from various sources/eras, and then put them together in fresh, new ways to create his fashions. For example, to explore circle shapes in design, he took his inspiration from colorful macarons he saw during lunch. (Cookies as inspiration--you can't go wrong with that!) He and his design team then playfully arranged circles on flat drawings of purses, allowing them to visualize fresh color combinations, composition ideas, and how to best design the negative spaces created by the circles...I LOVE THAT--what a wonderful reminder that art should be fun, and that the best sparks of inspiration come simply from noticing and being curious about the world around us!
"You need regularly to move from the assembly line and simply surrender to your intuition, and you need to be guilt free about it. While maybe a seeming distraction, it's the elixir that gives energy and courage to the roll of your production and your life in art. The penchant for exploration has a great deal to do with innate curiosity. Artists have curiosity in degree--some are all output and no curiosity, others are all curiosity and no output. For those who would care to evolve, this is one case where you need to be in the middle"...Robert Genn