1. stimulation to do creative work
2. somebody or something that inspires
4. good idea
5. divine influence
Synonyms: stimulus, spur, motivation, encouragement, muse
Everything about the word “inspiration” is beautiful for me. Recently, I had the revelation that in my quest to inspire – I have been inspired!
About two months ago, I joined a Facebook watercolor group. Since I’m a professional artist and the site had many beginners, I felt concerned that sharing my hyper-realistic artwork might discourage them. Several times I found myself writing, “I want to inspire, not intimidate.”
Because so many people viewed my illustrations as photographs, I shared attachments such as tracings and reference photos. I learned that I had to label my reference photo clearly, as sometimes it was mistakenly viewed as another painting.
The place where I currently live is small, so I have stored boxes of my old art files in a storage unit. It was quite an adventure to pull out several of those boxes that I hadn’t looked in for years. In my quest to find old attachments, I came across a folder filled with photos of dried fruit. Many years ago, I had intended to create a portfolio painting of them.
I put my boxes back in storage, but saved the folder of dried fruit on my desk. I also saved some slide pages that held other possibilities.
Those dried fruit photos were almost 30 years old, and I was still intrigued by their beauty. I probably didn’t paint them all those years ago because I was too busy with paid assignments. Back then, last thing I wanted to do when I wasn’t illustrating was to paint something for myself.
It turned out that in my quest to inspire others, I had found my own inspiration. Now I could bring those dried fruit to life!
It had been awhile since I’d traveled anywhere. I planned a trip in early March to visit my oldest son who lives in Las Vegas. On the day that I left my painting was almost finished. I didn’t want to rush finalizing it, so I didn’t wash off my palette.
Two weeks later, I came back with renewed joy to finish my painting. I spent an hour refining small details (even though I knew it was hardly noticeable.) Finally, I stopped. I signed and scanned my painting and looked forward to sharing it.
I have been called a perfectionist quite often. A perfect painting is not really possible or even preferable. I always hope to learn something from every painting of mine.
What did I learn from this painting? I will share it with you now. I have always been aware that there is a difference between the front and back of my hot-press watercolor paper. The front has a random pebbly surface and the back has a screen-like texture.
When I looked at close-ups of my painting, I was puzzled as to why it looked like I had worked on canvas. Then it dawned on me. I had painted on the back of my watercolor paper. With my eyesight issues, it was harder for me to notice the difference. I also didn’t think it mattered.
Well I definitely learned something important from this painting!
It was fun thinking of ideas for this post’s title. I started with “I had a lot of dates.” Another one that didn’t make the cut was: “I’m not out of date; wrinkles can be beautiful!”
But the title I chose was very satisfying. Every time I picked up my paintbrush, I had a date with inspiration!
Taking a two-week break was good for me. It was an adventure when I left my son’s house in Las Vegas and drove to Utah to visit my dear Insight Timer friend, Cathy. This was my third time visiting her and I stayed for two nights.
A few months ago I had drawn a maze of her beloved poodle, Zoey, who died last year. It was nice to see it on her wall.
I practiced my instrumentals while we were together and Cathy cooked us wonderful meals. I loved the scenery and was grateful it hadn’t rained or snowed while I was there.
Before I left, Cathy gave me such a personal and unique gift. She had made me a custom collage wall hanging that was guitar themed. Her quilting skill and the love she put into it dazzled me. I would treasure her gift forever.
I really enjoyed my trip, especially being with my son. His home was my “home away from home.” I cooked his favorite foods and helped him organize his closets (I took loads of bags to a donation center.)
While he was at work, I ate out several times with my friend, Riva. We met thirty years ago at a bereavement group for parents who had lost a child. My time with her was very precious.
I always feel like the best part of traveling is coming home. The day after I came back, I performed guitar instrumentals live on Insight Timer. I had caught a cold unfortunately, so my guitar replaced my voice. Having dodged Covid and colds for over three years – I realized I was vulnerable after all.
I’m not sure yet what my next creative project will be. I do want to publish a book of mazes. Perhaps, I might create some new music. Whatever I end up doing, I love that I have the freedom to choose!