Hello all, I often hear things such as: 'Where do you get all your ideas of what to paint?" or "How do you paint everyday?" A couple of things keep me inspired and help me to stay creative. The first thing is; to just do it, just start painting. Even if you don't feel like it. If I waited to feel like painting, then there would be many days where I just took off on a bicycle ride, wandered around the fields or waded in the stream. My painting is serious work that I have to make time for.
I usually carry a sketchbook on my bicycle rides. Nothing is more inspiring to sit at the park watching children play or next to a field with a herd of goats or horses. Go draw outside, draw in the mall, visit the senior center or recreation center. There are many places that may inspire you.
I also keep a pencil and paper by the bed so I can write down my thoughts when I first wake up. For some reason I am often inspired right before I fall asleep or even through dreams. Sometimes I can't always remember my dream, but if I start to write a thought down, then often times an idea comes to me, maybe from a dream. I have a book with lists of paintings and drawings that I want to do. If I live to be 127 I might be able to finish 1/2 of them. That further inspires me, when I realize that I might not live to be 127, and my painting time is limited. I have a lot of art to complete.
It also helps to try new subjects, new color combinations, different size canvas or different medium. I do a lot of color pencil work in a small format, because it is so easy to carry everywhere with me. How much time do you spend waiting somewhere? Sitting at the Doctors office or waiting to pick someone up is a good time to pull out your sketchbook and start to draw. When I work at the Gallery, there are many slow times where I can draw for several hours uninterrupted.
I don't stress too much about something that I am working on. If it is not going well, I set it aside and finish something that may come easily. I almost always have at least 5 paintings or drawings in progress at the same time. Often I set something aside and then when I return to it, I have a new perspective. Then I may notice something that escaped me while working on it. Don't get bogged down and determined to finish one piece before starting another. Some paintings were not meant to be finished. I have some that just didn't work out.
If all else fails, try something completely different that is creative. Write a poem, decorate a cake. You will miss painting and come back to it with renewed energy. Artist block is just a temporary state of mind. We all have busy lives, but try to make time for your art, it will flow energy into other parts of your life. I often marvel at how many people do not stop to hear birds sing, notice trees or how blue the sky is. Artists can see these things and marvel at daily miracles, embrace this part of yourself.
I have a big list of drawings that I hope to finish in the next week. If I can finish several each week until my 127th birthday, just how many pieces of art will that be? Hmmm.
Thanks for looking, it has been a pleasure to be associated with these talented and helpful ladies of the Dawg team. They are marvelous! Here is some of my newer works,