Monday, July 13, 2009

Inspiration & Motivation

Saturday I had the pleasure of going on a house and garden tour in historic Litchfield, Connecticut, that benefitted a local charity. One of the stately homes belonged to Oliver Wolcott Sr., an original signer of our Declaration of Independence. All of the gardens were breathtaking, with mounds of well tended flowers in full bloom, in remarkable settings with huge backyards that seemed to ramble on forever. There were clever little pocket gardens tucked up against the homes insuring privacy and intimacy. If you wanted to paint flowers, you could spend most of the summer there. But even my small garden is full of inspiration, especially this time of year when everything is blooming faster than I can keep up, now that time is in short supply.

These sketches serve two purposes - a way to draw and record daily - and to keep myself motivated. By seeing a body of work growing quickly there becomes a drive to add a new image each day thus creating a goal. For the summer while I am taking courses, this is one way to keep going. What inspires me, are my flowers - what motivates me, is that internal urge to create.

Maybe I will not be able to complete an oil painting this week, but I can spend a half hour here and there drawing. And at the end of the week, I can look back at something that I’ve accomplished. This is how I paint also. I try to work most of my free evenings, but if I do not finish quickly, then in about a week I generally have a completed piece. What motivates me is that I believe the next piece will be better still, and I just keep building on that as my continuing source of inspiration.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Recharging My Batteries

Sometimes you hit the wall and nothing will come out. This is how I jump start myself - by sketching. It is instant gratification (in about 45 minutes). A small pen and ink allows to me to sketch and than commit to paper. No fussy work just general lines, thick and thin, a hint or suggestion which gives you freedom. I like the end result and I have something tangible, so I feel that the time was well spent. I work on 100 lb Bristol paper, smooth or textured, do a quick light sketch and than using a Crow Quill pen and India ink go back in and draw. Doing this once a day or as I can fit it in seems to get ideas flowing again.

These are just some Black-Eyed Susans that were knocked over in the 35 days of rain we’ve had, along with some weeds from the yard. Weeds can be pretty too!!