My biggest inspiration is the sea.
I will let you into a secret, I am a bit of a crazy person when it comes to storms.While everyone is nice and dry indoors I am the one outside, being blown all over the place and getting soaked to the skin. I love to be by the sea in a storm. I am really in my element there and that is when the inspiration sparks and I can’t wait to pick up a paintbrush and start putting that energy onto the paper. I’m inspired by dramatic light, dark skies, or light streaming through trees when I’m walking in the woods. Being outside is a constant source of inspiration, it is also the best medicine when you are tired or stressed.
Being outside in amongst nature is where I am most alive. My mind empties, my body relaxes and the ideas start bubbling to the surface, ready to pounce when I am back in front of the easel.
The sound of rain, the texture and colours of rust or brickwork, the feel of an old book, a comfy leather armchair. Inspiration comes from the ordinary things of daily life as well as a raging sea. It connects with something deep inside me that can only be expressed through my painting.
Be curious in your creativity
I read somewhere that there are artists and there are creatives. The artist perfects their chosen medium becoming a master of their field, whilst the creative tries many different mediums and different types of art. I definitely fall into the second group. I love trying new things – last year I had a brief fling with clay, which led to ceramic paint and then glass paint (but not on glass!). Currently I am thinking of ways to bring textiles into my canvas work. Trying new things is a way of learning and growing. If you are looking for inspiration, just follow your curiosity, it won’t let you down.
Inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places. I have always been curious about my family history and started researching properly several years ago.
I traced one branch of my family tree back to Norfolk. Visiting the church where my ancestors were buried (my 4x great grandparents) right on the edge of Thetford Forest was deeply moving. I started a painting of these ancestral woods, and this sparked a new (and ongoing) obsession with trees. Who would have known that searching for family who lived 200 years ago would have led to a series of paintings? View the exhibition here, or read the blog post Ancestral Woods to find out more how I was inspired by this wonderfully atmospheric place.
These are just a few sources of inspiration. New ideas can come from anywhere at anytime, so if you feel curious about something, look a little closer. You never know where it might lead.
If you have ever wondered about the creation of new ideas and how inspiration works, have a read of Visual Taste Buds, I think you’ll love it. Or if you are stuck and don’t know how to get started again, read my blog about overcoming Artist’s Block. I’d love it if you left a comment to tell me what you think.