You know, it happens every once in a while, Joe will present me with some really great information from a previous workshop or demo he as attended in the past.
I think taking notes is something we both have in common when wanting to retain useful information. I love taking notes and tend to try to write down everything I can. After the demo or workshop is over, I take my notes home and try to decipher and clarify what I have written. I believe when I write down something, I tend to remember it more thoroughly, even if the information might not make sense to anyone else!
So, the other day, Joe comes by and says he found some old workshop notes while cleaning out his office desk. Boy! What luck! I just knew his find would include many words of wisdom that would be helpful to me! I was right! This is information that never goes out of date!
So, now, I would like to share his advice with all of you, because it really is great information!
Notes from Cheap Joe Miller:
“Where does my inspiration come from?”
1. I have a gene that collects inspirations.
2. I have a brain cell that is always on the lookout for something to paint.
3. Grant Wood, who painted America Gothic, said “My best ideas came to me while I was milking a cow.”
4. Picasso was inspired by women in their natural form. Inspired to paint, that is! I think a lot of men have found that to be true over the course of art history.
5. Inspiration comes from the Art Gods.
6. Inspiration comes from other artists and other creative people.
7. Inspiration comes from light or from dark, bright colors, muted colors, shapes, movement, stillness, new materials, paper, paint, brushes, tools.
8. Some are more inspired than others. Some don’t need inspiration. They paint all day, day in and day out. Just because it’s fun or rewarding or pays the bills.
9. Some are inspired by watching others create. We see it done and know we can do it.
10. Some don’t wait to watch others, thinking it might pollute them.
11. Art shows and museums can bring inspiration.
12. Watching children make art and experiencing their enthusiasm can be inspiring.
13. The enthusiasm of a beginner can inspire someone who has been painting for a while to create something fresh and new.
14. Instructional books or DVDs, or books on art history can spark inspiration.
15. For some, inspiration comes in dreams or visions.
For me, several of those ideas are true, however, I would have to add to the list.
1. Nature and the outdoors, the mountains, the ocean, the environment that I live in daily is an inspiration to me.
2. The clouds, or a colorful sunrise, a foggy morning in the valley.
3. The art of the early masters is a great place to begin looking for inspiration.
4. Music can bring inspiration.
5. Thumbing through old art magazines.
6. Watching instructional videos of other professional artists of new techniques, methods, or materials.
7. Writing your daily thoughts down in a visual journal.
8. Taking pictures of things you like and crop them in and blow them up very large, can create some interesting things to paint.
9. Simplifying a subject to it most basic shapes can bring a new idea.
10. Play with lighting. Strong shadows cast across a subject can really make the painting more interesting.
11. And finally, having time to ponder. Let me tell you what I mean.
I have a lengthy commute in the mornings and the evenings to and from work everyday. I live on the other side of the county, roughly 20 miles away from Boone. Due of the winding and curvy roads, some that are still graveled and not paved, it can take me up to 45 minutes to get to work. To some this can seem monotonous, to me, this is valuable pondering time. I don’t listen to music or books on tape or anything that might distract me. I look at the light being cast across the road and through the trees. Or the colors of the sky as the sun climbs up over the mountain tops. I observe the fog in the valley that obscures the houses and barns along the road. And I ponder. I think. Over and over the same road, the same path, the same trees, the same views, day after day after day. And every day and every time I see them, they are different. It just takes time to notice all of the inspirations that present themselves along your daily commute, your daily life.
I think pondering may be the most important source of my inspiration there is!
You really never know when an inspiration will present itself, so it is best to be prepared with a small, portable, notepad and pen that you can carry in your car, purse or pocket. Sometimes, if I can’t locate something to write on, I have been known to jot a word or two on a napkin, envelope, or even a store ad. Just be sure to transfer the information to your notebook when you are able to!
So, you see, every artist is inspired by their own ideas and experiences. Some may be similar or alike, but to each artist, they bring something different; a different idea or reason to create.
It is all so very personal and is as individual as the artist himself.
Have a Happy and Inspired Day!
And Keep those ideas flowing!
“”What inspires you?”
Leave a comment and let us know!