What Does Inspiration Look Like?

11:24 AM


What inspires you? What makes you excited to create? I have recently discovered that messy, well-used, lived-in palettes inspire me! I've collected images of palettes for years and I always thought it was because of the wonderful colors all lined up in pretty rows like candy at the confectioner's shop. Instead, it seems the possibilities that are waiting to be discovered within the grains of pigment are far more exciting to me.

The messy, well-used look speaks of fun, challenges, and the pursuit of those possibilities!

This discovery came about kind of by accident. I went to move my palette that I use for the Imaginary Trips classes out of the way and as I stood gazing at the messy wells with paint splotches and splatters everywhere, I could feel a light hum begin to sing in my blood! Yes, I know this qualifies me for the lunatic fringe award, but still......there was something about it!

I used to be fanatical about keeping my palette clean.....obviously this is no longer a compulsion I suffer from!! I do try to keep the paints clean, but if I dip into a well with a dirty brush, I no longer panic. I've learned a lot about mixes......and fixing mistakes that way! (Not a recommended way of learning but highly effective.) I do try to keep the yellows clean because there aren't too many things that will spoil a painting faster than an icky yellow.

Instead, I find the "mud" left over from various paintings to often contain just the color I'm looking for! The grays are luminous and quite stunning. Or, if I want to throw in "something different," I'll often reach for leftover pigment from another painting session because I do hate to waste paint. This has led to some very intriguing paint combinations that I probably wouldn't have discovered any other way. Some of them are even successful!

Perhaps that's why I am so inspired by a messy, lived-in, well-used palette—all the possibilities it represents in not only new paintings, but new ways of seeing and combining pigment. Whatever it is, I hope to always feel that energy humming along in my blood whenever my eyes do chance upon my palette.

What inspires you?

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