Creative people are thrilled and energized when the creative juices are flowing and when creativity comes easily. However, creative people have blocks: periods of time when creativity is a struggle. At best, a block slows the process. At worst, a block is creatively immobilizing.
For the past few years, a humble little buddy of mine assisted me with inspiration. She managed to get me out the door into the fresh air and into the woods almost daily. Walking, running, or hiking in nature is what inspires me. Jasmine, our little buddy, was my personal cheerleader and motivator. She got me outside when I was tired, grumpy, or lazy. She got me outside when it was wet, cold and miserable. And usually, she got me outside and helped me find something beautiful-something to inspire me. There are few paintings I’ve done that weren’t inspired by walks with Jasmine.
And this gal, Jaz, often hung out with me for hours and hours as I painted in my lovely but lonely studio. Frequently, Jasmine wore a lovely shade of acrylic paint on her head for a week or two, because she loved to lie under my easel.
I was even inspired to paint a wee painting of our Princess Jasmine, and I don’t do portraits (pet or human). But that’s the kind of buddy Jasmine was. She was my inspiration.
Sadly, Jasmine got very sick this past year; we spent a number of months trying to cure her but I lost my little walking buddy in the spring. It’s taken a number of months to ‘get back in the saddle'(how Calgarian of me). My walks have not been quite the same but the scenery, the skies, the colours are all there; they were waiting for me.
I decided to work on some new techniques. I have travelled more and I have taken a number of workshops and I am back to painting with a vengeance. I have painted more in the past 2 months than I have ever painted.
Sometimes you have to dig deep to find inspiration; it’s there. It might be hiding. Sometimes it is tough, especially when times are rough, but memories are often the best inspiration.
Thanks Jasmine. You have been an awesome inspiration. I challenge all you creative souls to find your muse, dig deep and get inspired….It feels great.
(ps: I don’t do Pet Portraits but I am sending a shout out to my talented friend, Isabel Ostrom, who does wonderful pet portraits. Check out her website: http://www.isabelostrom.com/
My original plan for this week’s blog entry, was a followup to my Calgary Community Painters Society (CCPS) post. I had planned to talk about communities and art.
However, this week’s Canadian news cast a sad and heavy weight upon the shoulders of most Canadians. I found myself thinking about the tragedies, about fears, about death and felt like I joined the nation in a collective mourning. On Saturday, in the early morning hours before the CCPS art show, after I had done my set up, I had a couple of free hours and decided to listen to one of my favourite CBC radio programs: Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe. Hoping to hear a witty or fun story, instead McLean’s program was about loss, death and mourning. I thought to myself, “great! I can’t get away from this.” However, his stories, although very sad, examined the beauty of investing in humanity and cherishing life…yes, being a part of life means pain, sadness, and grief…but the investment is worth it.
Listening to Stuart McLean made me think about how little time we all really have and if we’re here, we may as well make it worth it. Regrets should not be part of our vocabulary. We should be living life fully, spending time with people we cherish and doing things that are meaningful and fun.
Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Vincent’s lives appear to have been meaningful; it seems that these men were leading the lives they truly wanted to lead. Their deaths seem senseless but let’s hope that their memories provide great comfort to their loved ones.
Like most people, I remember a period of darkenss in my life, following some personal struggles and health issues. I was at a crossroads and pondered what I was really supposed to be doing with my life. After some soul searching I made a number of changes in my life and one of them was to resume my artistic path.
I’m not going to pretend that change is easy or that challenges are avoided. But living life fully is meaningful and instead of dragging myself around wishing to be doing something else, I feel energized and ready to do more.
Life is meant to be lived. We’re supposed to be participants, not specatators in this journey. Life may be short, and it might be unfair, but I say grab on tight and enjoy the ride.
Love like it’s your last day on earth,
And dream in technicolour’
Seize the moment…it feels great.
I love colour. Neutrals and earth tones are beautiful, well loved and often trendy….but me: it’s all about COLOUR! The brighter the better. Bright colour demands attention and says “I’m here”. I dream in technicolour and I ponder whether I see more colour than other people. However, last week during my weekly art demo with Calgary Community Painters, I realized other people see extraordinary colour everywhere, as well. Ingrid Christensen, an extremely accomplished portrait and figure artist demonstrated a remarkable portrait painting, in just over an hour. She had us squinting and seeing vibrant coulours: green, bright pink and purple in the face of a lovely raven haired, fair skinned model. I know this model; her skin is alabaster and her hair is ebony…but we all saw reflected wonderful brilliant colours. Often, we miss the spectacular colours surrounding us in our ordinary lives.
Today, while driving home from work, the angle of the sun cast a glow over our city and the yellow leaves shone like metallic gold and the green grass reflected brilliant pink. This morning, while still dark, our huge yellow moon shone bright pink with a turquoise shimmer. Later in the day, I read about the ‘blood moon’ and realized the colour was related to a unique eclipse. How fantastic to see such marvelous hues on routine daily commutes.
A few years ago, before I shared my art with others, my husband and I purchased our first original painting from a Calyx show here in Calgary. It was a vibrant autumn scene by Eleanor Lowden Pidgeon. The red, orange and gold jewel tones with pops of purple and emerald green screamed at me. It was only recently that I realized that the painting reminded me of the many paintings my artistic grandma had scattered throughout our family home as I grew up. My grandma taught me to paint and her paintings were always brilliant autumn scenes of Ontario, before she travelled across Canada by stage coach. Grandma Clifford taught me to paint and to dream in technicolour.
As you go about your days, take a longer look, squint if you must and if you look hard enough, you’ll see colours you have never noticed. Maybe you too can be addicted to colour…It feels great!