What is inspiration and where does it come from? Everyone will answer that question differently. For some it's internal, for others it's external, or maybe a combination of the two. We are all unique and find our inspiration in different places at different times and for different reasons.
My inspiration comes:
walking: can be in nature or urban setting, but focus on what's around,
reading: choosing a random book or subject ~ downloading books from the London Public Library is great option,
and listening: conversation, the most important part of communication is listening.
I borrowed the book "The Hidden Life of Trees" from a friend. It took quite a while to read. For me, it was too technical in places, but in the end... Trees are alive. They think. They feel. They communicate. That's where the inspiration started. For the last couple of months I have been observing and thinking about trees more. I have done a couple of sketches, but it's really just the start. I am not sure where this will take me....
An interesting read: "Why Inspiration Matters" from Harvard Business Review.
Located in Old South, "The Village Idiot" is a destination for music lovers from all corners of the city and beyond. The original illustration (SS80 The Village Idiot) was completed in 2016, based on the photo taken in 2013. A recent request prompted me to do a new one. You gotta love the red trim! It gives the facade so much character and so much charm. Some buildings need to be recorded, captured, illustrated and enjoyed. This is one of those buildings.
Below: First image is photo is from 2013. Second image is recently completed illustration. Third image is photo taken in 2020.
Do you like the red colour scheme OR the black colour scheme?
After reading the book, "The Hidden Life of Trees" by Peter Wohlleben, I look at trees differently. I did not find the book an easy read and it took a long time to get through it... but the book certainly opened my eyes to appreciate trees differently. Whether I am walking by river or walking on a golf course, I look more closely the shape, the size, the colour, the texture of the bark, the way it grows, where it grows, and think: how much pain has this tree suffered during its lifetime, how old is this tree, how deep are the roots, how is it communicating with other trees, is it happy?
This tree, with its eight twisty trunks and the umbrella shaped crown, located between the 17th green and the 18th tee box at Greenhills Golf Club is just begging to be drawn and used in my artwork.
I have been asked "why do I call some of my artworks - sketches and some of my artworks - drawings?"
sketch: a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study
drawing: the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines
I find a "sketching" in a sketchbook fun and relaxing. There is no pressure to please other people. I am using a sketchbook, which is relatively inexpensive, (usually) acid free, 60 lb paper with a fine tooth surface. The finished product is just for me. I find my lines are freer and there is more life in the sketch when I am not concerned about exact shape, size, colour, etc.
Most of my commissions required more detail. I use a much more expensive substrate, (usually) Arches Watercolour Hot Press 140 lb, and 100% cotton paper. The challenge is always to keep the "life and character" in the finished drawing. I would say... my finished artworks fit somewhere in the grey area between a sketch and a drawing. My finished works are not exact, but they are close.
Reminds me of...
"Once In A Lifetime" by Talking Heads
And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?
Well, how did I get to this multi-coloured Volkswagen Beetle?
The short answer is "time". Go home and stay home.
... This all started with a search for a specific golf hole photograph to use as reference for a hole-in-one for a friend. In my search, I found a CD of photos that I took at a classic car, truck and tractor show in Bracebridge in 2012.
"The early farmers that settled in New England didn't have much extra money to spend on paint, so most of their barns remained unpainted. By the late 1700s, farmers looking to shield their barns' wood from the elements began experimenting with ways to make their own protective paint.
A recipe consisting of skimmed milk, lime and red iron oxide created a rusty-colored mixture that became popular among farmers because it was cheap to make and lasted for years. Farmers were able to easily obtain iron oxide the compound that lends natural red clay its coppery color from soil. Linseed oil derived from flax plants was also used to seal bare wood against rotting, and it stained the wood a dark coral hue."
When I started my "stay at home" for 2 weeks on Wednesday of this week, I made the decision that I would make this a positive experience. Besides more time to do artwork, which is the best part... I started each day with a list of what I would do that day, then at the end of the day I revisit it and check off everything I did.
I have kept myself busy with an indoor sketch challenge from Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region, lots of drawing, reading, yoga, walking the dog and putting more of an effort into social media. Still don't love it, but seeing more benefit. It is very time consuming. No post on social media today, back to it tomorrow.
As an introvert, I am very happy in a group of ONE! During this time of social distancing, staying at home, reading, drawing, walking the dog, and watching a movie at home, suit me just fine. But, for extroverts and sports lovers, this is a challenging time. Hang in there, you will get through it...
Sometimes the winter months for me means going to work, coming home and not going out. And to be honest, I am happy to do just that. But, back in December, I decided I should be more social over the course of the winter months, so I started a new project and it is: