Inspiration isn't something you find.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked, by students, beginning career path artists and customers is, "Where do you find your inspiration?"
What I don't like about the idea of finding inspiration is that it implies that inspiration is something that exists outside of ourselves and that we sorta-hafta grab at it and pull it towards us.
I don't find inspiration, I allow it. I don't chase it, it comes to me. The little things in life that happen, the brief but beautiful glimpse of something in the landscape, the out of nowhere idea in the shower, are all fodder for creative work of any kind, and even creative living.
Midnight Snack is a perfect example.
I woke up a couple of weeks ago to the sound of a ruckus going on in my kitchen. A raccoon had gotten into the house and was looking for tidbits in the garbage can. He got scared when he saw me and left the way he came in, through the screen porch.
It was an irritating event (which by the way, my cat slept through) that required some clean up. But it became a funny little story that I could tell through a painting. And as an added bonus I got to paint that cute little cottage kitchen that I totally want. I mean, who doesn't want that turquoise stove? Frig to match, please!
The painting that's on my easel now (not shown) started because I had a dream that had hummingbirds in it. Who doesn't love hummingbirds? I have never painted them, voila! an idea is born.
16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2016
I did a little slide show on Facebook of how this painting progressed. To view it, Click Here and scroll down.
Where do all these ideas live while they wait to be painted?
They patiently wait in my journal. I think every artist/creative/person should have one. Not sure how to start? Google it! You'll find all kinds of info. By the way, I use one of those old fashioned composition books, from the office supply store, nothing fancy for me. I just need a place to write and doodle.
"But, suppose I don't have any of those ideas yet?"While you are getting your journal up and running, keep showing up in your studio/dining room table/creative closet/wherever. One of my favorite Picasso quotes is, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
Rework old paintings. Gesso over old paintings. Do a variation of a painting you have already done, like Cezanne* and other famous artists. Re-imagine it.
And if while you're working or re-working and idea comes to you, stop what you are doing and write it down! Allow it, give it a place to live.
Action is the genesis of inspiration.
16 x 20" acrylic on canvas
*The Sainte-Victoire mountain near Cézanne's home in Aix-en-Provence was one of his favorite subjects and he is known to have painted it over 60 times. Cézanne was fascinated by the rugged architectural forms in the mountains of Provence and painted the same scene from many different angles.
Enough of the think-y stuff, I can already see your eyes glazing over.
Here are 2 new pillows I designed and have added to the gallery.
Hugs to all, Maggie
P.S. What super-cool techniques do you use to keep your inspiration warehouse full? I'd love to know.
First, you might want to CLICK HERE so you can see all the fun extras on the blog site. You'll be glad you did and you can leave a comment.
And Second, Thank you! Please forward it on to anyone else who might enjoy it. Thank you again.
If you aren't (reading this in your inbox)and you'd like to get all the really cool things going on in my studio delivered (with love) to your inbox, CLICK HERE and fill out that box thingy that says, "Never miss a post", in the upper right
Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida.
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042
Find more things to love on my website: www.maggieruley.com
Connect with me on FACEBOOK