I'm often asked where I get inspiration for my paintings so I began giving it some thought. Sometimes it feels as though they are these fantastic 'a-ha!' moments. which they are to a certain extent. One thing leads to another and then another until an idea is born. But, I do realize that there needs to be that one thing that leads to another to begin with...that is to say, there is always something that seems to connect things in my brain. There are certain things that I do and am drawn to, and these things seem to be a great catalyst. These are typically the impetus for inspiration for me:
1. Nature - I love walking along the creek in my community, going for hikes in the Rocky Mountains which are just up the highway, and sitting in my back garden. I will often take photos or carry a small moleskine sketchbook and pen or pencil to jot down notes, ideas and sketches.
2. Magazines - I have always loved magazines with well photographed images. And the magazines can be about absolutely anything, but I tend to be drawn towards interior design magazines...even something like Victoria or Cottage magazines give me ideas for colour combinations. Sometimes it is something in a photo that catches my eye...a leaf shape on the ground or a bird in the sky triggers inspiration for overlapping patterns and colours. Even fashion magazines bring up ideas through their use of repeating patterns and colours and the trends that they focus on. Oddly enough I don't look at many art magazines.
3. Television/Movies - I tend to watch a lot of documentaries, BBC programs and the occasional decorating show. When the characters are in an environment that piques my interest, like Muskoka country in Ontario or a walk in the woods or even graffiti in an urban scene, my mind begins making connections. Sometimes I bring a canvas I'm working on into our livingroom to place on our fireplace hearth so that I can look at it during breaks and commercials. It's funny how things begin to connect in my mind.
4. Books - Because I read voraciously, the images that come to my mind when I read are huge fodder for my paintings. Colours, images, memories...it's all very exciting for me.
5. Music - The stories in music does the same thing for me...it actually affects the physical way I paint as well. I slow down when the music slows and speed up as it becomes faster so I am very aware of what I listen to in my studio.
6. Travel - Every time I go to different places, and even though I may not be aware of it, everything I see becomes locked into my memory as fodder for new work. Especially when I experience something for the first time. I also tend to visit galleries when we travel so even though I may not consciously note a method or style of artwork, when I am drawn to something I take the time to fully experience it. I am a huge believer that all of this becomes stored in my mind for those moments that I need it...those 'a-ha!' moments.
AIRdirondack Art Project