Where do I find my inspirations for the work I share here? And how do I awaken the spark of creativity each day? When we’re charged with being visually creative all day long in so many ways, be it painting or graphic design, or even in writing whether it’s creative or technical, something needs to be the practice ground, and something needs to awaken those senses each day before we start working.
…the places I’d grown my vegetables from my cold frame to my raspberry bushes, where my native plants had stood and called to the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds and songbirds, all in their season. I’d walked among them as if it was my own private park, and indeed it was, my backyard wildlife habitat, carefully organized over 25 years and giving me both sustenance and inspiration,…
For years it’s simply been my morning visits to work and play in my backyard which is registered as a backyard wildlife habitat and also includes a sustainable vegetable garden that for years provided nearly all my food.
And I started each day out there, in any season, always something to do, getting my exercise and fresh air, and then awakening my creative senses with my camera and sketch pad before getting to work as a commercial artist at my computer and easel. It was the best way to start any day, in the quiet of my habitat, and finding beauty in every little detail so that I could share it in what I created.
As just one example of hundreds, the photo at the top “Black Phase Swallowtail Nestling Into Phlox“, was one of those inspirations that I stepped into following this particular butterfly around my back yard on a summer morning. I offer it as a photo print, I used it in one of my greeting card designs in the “Inspired by Flowers” set named “Celebrating You“, I’ve used it on keepsake boxes and placemats and soon I’ll use it on jewelry, and I’ve also used it more than once in graphic designs in brochures, websites and illustrated signage.
Another afternoon I was stuck on a unique color combination for a quarterly publication I’d been designing for six years and felt I was out of ideas. I walked outside because I think better when my hands are busy and in pulling a few weeds from around my flowers I saw a bright ladybug on a rich green leaf, the black accents made it complete and I knew I had a winning combination.
Changes happened in the past few years preventing me from gardening and taking away many of the plants I’d loved. Honestly, I’ve felt kind of flat sometimes when it comes to creating new art and developing new ideas, nothing like when I played around in my back yard for an hour or two in the morning before getting to work.
But this year, despite concerns about getting work done and getting the income, and all the work I knew it would be, I decided I couldn’t live without this inspiration, and the good food too. And creating new memories with Mimi, another in a long line of felines who’ve supervised me in my work and loved the space as much as me.
Read more about this special place and what Mimi and I did this weekend to ensure it continues to work for our health and inspiration, and further visit samples of my painting, photography, poetry and prose inspired by this very place. I published an essay this weekend on Paths I Have Walked titled “Ten Feet High With Jewelweed“.
It’s Monday, and the phone is ringing. I’ve had my morning session and I’m ready to create. Enjoy reading while I enjoy creating!
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