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How Do We Become Inspired?

Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 2:16 PM

What do you do to inspire yourself? Do you meditate? Do you write in a journal?

”The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.” -- Picasso.

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman

”When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.” ~Keith Haring

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing” ~Pablo Picasso

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~Thoreau

“You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~Kafka


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Heart On Sleeve ART on 01/10/2013 - 2:36 PM

I am inspired by emotion. I do my best work when I am angry, remorseful, sad... I am also inspired by boredom. I refuse to be bored so I generally pick up a paint brush or my Nikon and get un bored!


Posted by: Hilda Lechuga on 01/10/2013 - 2:43 PM

I am inspired by people, nature, and everything that happens around me. I am always on the path to an Art adventure. I love to experiment with new Art techniqes.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 2:44 PM

Heart On Sleeve ART ( great name)

Yes, emotions make us forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything...less create!


Posted by: Ryno Worm Tattoos on 01/10/2013 - 2:47 PM

Tattoos are inspiration. The art that people choose to display on the body and the pain they go through to keep that art with them forever. The human body is the most inspiring canvas!


Posted by: Phyllis Beiser on 01/10/2013 - 2:48 PM

I am inspired by the beauty and wonder that God puts before me each day as I open my eyes. No matter how bad circumstances bombard me, I still and always have tried to focus on beauty. I was once told by a dear friend many years ago that I could look at a mangy dog and find beauty somewhere in it! This is my inspiration....The Creator of all.


Posted by: Christiane Schulze on 01/10/2013 - 2:59 PM

I am inspired from travelling, my family and friends. On the other hand my emotions leads my hand and my best work comes into being when I am very angry or very happy.


Posted by: Glenna McRae on 01/10/2013 - 3:00 PM

Madalena, I have thought a lot about the creative process. I am very right brained so music, colour, nature, something new that I've seen or felt inspires me.
Like most artists, I can be very emotional! But lately as I've seen your work and how you share your life and emotions through your art; I wonder if l I have been more of an observer or recorder of what I see around me. I truly desire to move in a direction where more my art has more depth or meaning! I'm searching for something that truly reaches others. Not there yet but hopefully that souce of inspiration will burst forth into a "new song or work of art!" glenna


Posted by: Francoise Dugourd-Caput on 01/10/2013 - 3:05 PM

I am inspired by men portraits, searching sensibility, expression of emotion in their eyes,
I am inspired by colors, light, music, emotions, dreams, and love in my abstracts
I am inspired by cats, their look, their so lovely attitudes
life, sun, wind, nature, all things around me give me imagination, feelings and inspiration ... and more and more ...


Posted by: Jan Bickerton on 01/10/2013 - 3:07 PM

What a great discussion Magdalena!
I am inspired by my own possessions. Collecting things together, pairing objects, moving 'treasures' from one room to sit next to another on a shelf. A treasure can be anything from a feather, seed head from the garden or an old tea cup and saucer. I will see shapes, or sometimes colour combinations which make me reach for my camera.
I'm also inspired by the work of others. Not to copy but to try something new to improve my craft.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 3:15 PM

Life is a great source of inspiration.

At times, perhaps, be a little hard, or perhaps our suffering, is only what we are able to bear. Neither more nor less.
For sometimes I feel that everything has been very hard, I am no longer capable of taking a single step, but art allows me to stand back and follow a few steps, until a new work brings me to keep fighting for what I think.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 3:18 PM

We can see in your artwork what you infinite force of inspiration!!


Posted by: Geeta Biswas on 01/10/2013 - 3:19 PM

Madalena , you have started a nice discussion,only after reading 'What do you do to inspire yourself ? ' I thought about it...really what do I do ? Well, the answer is also so beautifully given here...

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman

I agree with this statement fully...I am inspired by ideas which come to me when I am alone and that is why my aloneness is a great blessing to me and I enjoy being alone and merged in my ideas...the creative process is going on as long as I am brimming with ideas....


Posted by: Francoise Dugourd-Caput on 01/10/2013 - 3:20 PM

Thank you Madalena, I am touched


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 3:24 PM


Good point!
I looked back some of your works. You're right, they are made of small big things, those that do every instant a unique moment.


Posted by: Marie Gale on 01/10/2013 - 3:40 PM

What a great topic Madalena,

MUSIC is definitely my main source of inspiration...I listen to a lot of music and when a song triggers some emotions...(which happens with almost every song...!) an idea is born...and becomes an image...


Posted by: Lehua Pekelo-Stearns on 01/10/2013 - 4:03 PM

"Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible." Paul Klee, artist.
I photograph each image to "tell it's story" and to reflect upon it's unique and strong visual aura. My inspiration is to share that with others thru my photography.


Posted by: Aniko Hencz on 01/10/2013 - 4:17 PM

Personally, I do absolutely nothing. For inspiration I just follow my dreams - many of my works were inspired by a sequence or a whole dream. They can be really surreal sometimes, so I just wait for them to show up. In my opinion inspiration can not be forced; when I miss it, I just go beading or playing with my dog:) A shadow or a crack on the wall can inspire me as well as nature or voices, songs.


Posted by: Maria Urso on 01/10/2013 - 4:21 PM

Great discussion Madalena! What inspires me most is the acknowledgement of those things in which I see or stumble upon which most people would overlook. From the tiniest baby grasshopper, to the aged lines in an elephant's skin, to the one leaf floating down a stream of shimmering sunlight to the darkest places of the earth or universe, there is beauty in it all, and it is all created by our Creator and created perfectly. To realize that those things most would consider ugly or unsightly or far from being art, if they would only consider the Source from which it came and was created. The very energy in the life of a forest draws me deeper into it's depths, the smell of the earth and to know from it, we humans were created. And my very deep love of ALL animals big and small, their very nature, their instinctive habits and the nurturing of their young never ceases to amaze me. These are the things that inspire me along with music. When I play music and decide to paint, I am no longer on earth, but in another world, a world of spiritual beings, not of flesh and blood, a world of peace, where all things co-exist in a peaceful and loving environment, where there is no judgment, bias or any other negativity. I forget about problems and illness and all those things that would drag a person down each and every day. I must confess, it's not only when I paint, but when I draw as well. It is me and the subject matter (usually animals) nothing else exists when I'm drawing.


Posted by: Janet Antepara on 01/10/2013 - 4:22 PM

Flipping through my sketchbook and seeing all of my sketches inspires to me create pieces from them. Looking at all of the amazing art here and other POD sites makes me want to create as well. I cannot create if I'm in a bad mood though, only if I'm happy.


Posted by: Rhonda Humphreys on 01/10/2013 - 4:27 PM

I am inspired by taking a walk alone and being close to nature.there is nothing more beautiful to me then to watch a bird take off in flight and feel the freedom they possess. Just looking around at all the beauty in the world inspires me. But truly the other place I go is to look at the fine work on FAA of all of you is inspirational.


Posted by: Nan Wright on 01/10/2013 - 4:34 PM

I love this discussion.... because it made me think about what inspires me to paint. A question I have never addressed! When I first picked up the brush, inspiration came from just seeing if I could paint. Then, the challenge was to see how many different subjects I could paint. Then it wasn't long before I found that animals of all kinds really inspire me and they are what I loved most to paint. People fell into that same category. I am still evolving in the whole process. Looking at all the great works of art from all of you, inspiration comes to me to become a 'looser' painter. It may be an unrealistic goal of mine because I am so detail-oriented in everything I do. Thanks, Madalena, this is a very interesting topic.


Posted by: Debi Pople on 01/10/2013 - 4:38 PM

If you asked me this question every day, I may have a different answer every day. Everything everyone else has mentioned before me (emotions, nature, beauty, people, relationships, travel, things, etc.) definitely influences my inspirations, but not always the same way or together. I feel my creativity is a necessity daily in some way or another and many times it comes spontaneously. My head is overfilled with ideas I have not yet begun. I have found that I get many ideas while exercising and then I can't wait to get started working on new projects. Visiting artist's studios, galleries, art fairs and art exhibits definitely inspires me, too. In fact, the smell of oil paints is very stimulating...although I prefer acrylics for their drying capabilities, hence my spontaneity. I am a very high energy, high strung person and painting and drawing is one way I relax and's definitely therapeutic.


Posted by: Sandra Pena de Ortiz on 01/10/2013 - 4:58 PM

My main source of God, His grace and His plan to dispense Himself in man, to be one with man, to transform man, and to build up His church, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem. Whenever, I see something that I want to photograph it is because some aspect of it transports me to the divine and mystical realm of Christ and brings me closer to Him. Also, many other times, I photograph things that inspire me because of their beauty, emotional content, or the eliciting of important memories. Many times, going back through these images I discover aspects in them that inspire me as I also find God in the image. I acknowledge that my visions and inspirations differ from those of many but I find joy in sharing what I see to others within the descriptions of my work, because I think those who appreciate art also want to know what is behind the artist's inspiration for the specific piece.



Posted by: Angela Davies on 01/10/2013 - 5:09 PM

I really like and relate to the quote by Kafka! Some of my most inspired work has occured when I sit quietly looking out the window of my studio. When I go out searching for inspiration; it is not always there. Inspiration seems to be more of an inner thing for me.


Posted by: Fran Hogan on 01/10/2013 - 6:13 PM

I am usually surprised by what has inspired me. Sometimes it is remembering an image from a dream, sometimes it is just a flash of an image I've passed in my car, sometimes an idea comes to me seemingly from nowhere. Sometimes it is just a word I hear that triggers an image. Sometimes nothing inspires me for weeks or months, then suddenly the ideas won't stop!


Posted by: AnnaJo Vahle on 01/10/2013 - 6:14 PM

This is a great discussion. What a wonderful question....and I would have to say that it could be anything or everything. It could be my feelings or something that I see. I never seem to run out of ideas. I dream them when I sleep and am conscious of them every where I go. I have painting on my mind at all times. It may be simmering on the back burner of my mind while I am busy with life, but it is always there. I wish that I had enough time to paint all of my ideas. Unfortunately, I am a rather slow painter. Sigh. I agree with most everything that everyone has said previously in this conversation. I most certainly agree with the saying you quoted...

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman

Never having heard that exact quote, it is something that I have reminded my friends from time to time. I studied art as therapy when in college and have used it for my own therapy. To be an artist, I believe, is to be very lucky, indeed. I can't imagine life without it.


Posted by: Gun Legler on 01/10/2013 - 6:21 PM

I most often get inspred by looking at other people's images. I can see a mood or just a detail and something in me wakes up. Then everything seems to go by itself. I feel guided in a lot of my images, not in all. I love to play with forms and textures, and suddenly something appeares that I build on. I never, or almost never, I start with a plan, therefor my images are a mess of motives and techniques, but it is so I am :-)

Förgot to say I am fascinated with peoples faces, the things that happen in the eyes and how they mirror the mood and the soul.


Posted by: Mirko Gallery on 01/10/2013 - 7:11 PM

Well, I don't really have problems with inspiration, everything inspires me... I think it shows in the variety of my paintings!
Sometimes, it's just a color, and I feel like putting it out there... For exemple, if I'm in a green mood, than everything turns green :)))
Threes, hats, poteries, eyes, faces... Just looking at a film, there's always an expression, a vision, a door, something that will make me want to make my own representation of what I saw; "A girl standing in a door way... Mostly, I'm inspired by people and solitude. The way they stand, or express sadness, or by crowds... Well, as you can see, everything...


Posted by: Christy Usilton on 01/10/2013 - 7:27 PM

I'm a bit like Mirko - I'm amazed and inspired by most everything. I have my camera with me where ever I go and often get my favorite shots on the way to and from work, to the grocery store, waiting at the red light, going through the car wash or other mundane errands. Painting starts out the same way - usually with a remembered image ... but then during the process it seems to take on a life of it's own - many times becoming something else entirely. I don't take myself or my art very seriously and this gives me the freedom to just enjoy it.


Posted by: Gloria Turner on 01/10/2013 - 7:31 PM

Music is my biggest inspiration...classical and celtic really encourage the creative side. If I am painting while listening to music, I can paint for hours. Certain colors also inspire me. Everyday surroundings are inspiration wishing I could put all on paper for the world to see and like!


Posted by: Carol Allen Anfinsen on 01/10/2013 - 7:46 PM

I need to be taken "out of myself" to be inspired. I go for a walk -- look at nature and examine detail and color. I love to see the color on tree bark or in the shadows.

I go to a movie; especially an "artsy" one and take in the wonderful photo shots (composition) and color. I read a book, especially one that is somewhat fanciful and imaginative. After being refreshed by getting out of my routine, I come back and see things in new ways.


Posted by: Marie Green on 01/10/2013 - 8:04 PM

What a great thread! Thank you Madalana.

For me, I think because I only started painting 5 years ago I haven't yet had to search around for inspiration but I think when I run out of deep-sky objects (of which there are only 436 zillion known at this time) I will probably be pushing up daisies and not to worried about what is or is not on my easel.

But the inspiration for painting these nebulae came to me forty years ago when I bravely girded my loins and went to New York for a week all by myself (Aussie Girl Bites Apple sorta thing :D ) and headed off first to the Hayden Planetarium. From then on I was fascinated with nebula and now I have my own observatory with an 8 inch telescope which lets me sail far far away on many a dark night.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 8:12 PM

Music is always a great inspiracional source!!

Yes, I agree with you and Paul Klee!

Yes, you do: You DREAM!!
I agree with you, there is nothing more frustrating and useless, than forcing inspiration

Maria Urso -
Yes, the moment of creation is unique and magical! Nothing can equal...may be making love!

Looking sketches is always good!

A walk around nature or a walk in other works of art is always motivating!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 8:38 PM

Yes, I all make this really a very good discussion. The problem in art is that we always want to overcome, each book must be better than the previous one and so on. But I think this is very good, our quality as artists and as people is increasing!

We will be attentive to see the results of that boundless energy! Force!!

The search for God is one of the oldest and great sources of human inspiration!

I agree with you and Kafka. I need silence too!

Really like your description!

Would not know what to do with my life without art. I do what I always wanted to do!

I can feel that you are a seeker of emotions!


Posted by: Marita McVeigh on 01/10/2013 - 8:42 PM

I try to stay Open to inspiration all the time. Although I may not have the time to paint when inspiration hits, it is in my brain and soul for when the time comes. I always have a backlog of ideas in my head!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 8:51 PM

The result of your inspiration is very good!

The result of your inspiration is very good too!

It is very interesting to see how our inspiration influence our art!

You are also a seeker!!

How wonderful! You're a lucky woman!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/10/2013 - 8:52 PM

Thank you Girls!
This is a wonderful conversation!!


Posted by: Mj Olsen on 01/10/2013 - 9:19 PM

Wow, what a fascinating set of answers! As for myself, I don't know really -- I'm new to this world of art and have never thought about these things. I just wander around with my camera, looking, looking, and then something will grab me and I take a picture. Looking back over them it seems always to be a combination of a pleasing visual combined with a feeling that all is not as it "should" be -- I think of my images as social commentary. Of course, most of them don't turn out. Anyway, I'm having fun and learning a lot.


Posted by: Mary Sullivan on 01/10/2013 - 10:54 PM

I am inspired by the act of just putting ink or paint on paper or canvas and letting it flow. It invariable triggers my imagination and absorption in the act of creation. My challenge is getting myself to the studio instead of letting all manner of distractions get in the way. Also I love music but somehow I need silence when painting for complete absorption.


Posted by: Leanne Howie on 01/10/2013 - 10:55 PM

I am inspired by nature, a sunset, a sunrise, the petals of a new flower, rust on old abandoned cars, great architecture, graffiti, an abandoned beach in Hawaii, a lightning storm, and my imagination no matter how dark and twisted it might get.


Posted by: Madison Etrela on 01/10/2013 - 11:24 PM

i am mostly inspired by the Greek mythology that i was obsessed with as a young girl. I am now almost done with my first Greek based painting "Demeter's Grief", then i have a few others lined up such as "Aphrodite and the Rose," "Medusa," "Persephone and the Pomegranate" and possibly "Orpheus and Eurydice." That last one will certainly be a challenge as i've never been very good at painting a male figure. i painted one and in my opinion it wasn't that great (too small of a canvas). I had to move up to 18x24 canvases and i am now finding that those are insufficient as well for facial details so i'll be moving up to a larger scale of 24x36. But all in all Greek mythology is where my heart is although i do paint the occasional pagan related images based on dreams i've had.


Posted by: Sheri Lauren Schmidt on 01/10/2013 - 11:46 PM

I love the quotes Madalena shared, as well as the Paul Klee and Lou Dorfsman quote. This is a fun thread to read, so much in common, but so much variety. This is a question I have thought about a lot, as well as the accompanying "What is the purpose?". I can best answer this question by sharing one of my poems, I hope it is ok it takes a little more space.

"Artist's Statement"

It is the way sunlight plays on skin
and turns every strand of hair to jewels,
the beauty of trees dancing in the prairie,
singing the years of rain and wind,
It is the pull of a leaf browned on the edges,
holding desperately to the last fleeting crimson,
Every tiny wing that alights just out of grasp,
the cloud so full I can taste it.
It is my folly, to chase wind,
try to capture her laugh.
Take it, freeze it, just the way I found it.
Wrap it, to open with each image.
It is lassoing that horse, feeling her muscles bunch,
tearing across flat plains and remembering -
the call geese make overhead, the sound,
the quiet, the air changing in fall.
It is the moon I met last night,
the blush on the grass this morning,
and it is all curled into the lash on his cheek,
captured in the meadowlarks puffing out feathers,
Breaking my heart, filling my soul,
teasing me onward, always hungering,
lusting for the pounding rhythm of a loaded brush,
a shutter shot.

©Sheri Lauren Schmidt, 11/25/2010


Posted by: Jane Bucci on 01/10/2013 - 11:57 PM

Lovely Sheri!

I am inspired by other artists works 2d or 3d, no matter. It should be noted here that I consider God to be an artist! Ideas for art come to me when I am asleep or just barely waking -- don't know why !


Posted by: Madison Etrela on 01/11/2013 - 12:01 AM

to Sherri in regards to the posed question, "What is the purpose?"

an artist, whether it be a painter, a dancer, a singer, etc has only one purpose; it's in their blood, it's in their heart and spirit, they MUST get it out! Never turn your back on your muse for they may turn a blind eye to you later when you desire their return... for me it's extremely therapeutic as well :)


Posted by: Sheri Lauren Schmidt on 01/11/2013 - 1:30 AM

Thank you Jane! And well said Madison, I couldn't agree more. (-:


Posted by: Carol Wisniewski on 01/11/2013 - 2:31 AM

I am inspired by a Sunday ride thru the countryside. Where we live are still many old farms and the rustic farm equipment and of course a variety of different livestock. Camera in tote of course.


Posted by: Mary Ely on 01/11/2013 - 3:34 AM

I am inspired by emotions, life experiences(poignant moments in my life), dreams, and other artists' work. I always keep an artist sketch book with me at all times, even a small flip one for my purse. You never know when an idea might just come to you, and if I don't write it down as soon as it comes, I might forget it. However, I always have my sketch book handy to jot down any ideas or images that come to mind. I use the sketch book for everything, my notes for daily life, and I even paste clippings in it from various things I like or find interesting. I also keep a dream journal beside my bed. If I've had a really powerful dream, I will take the time to turn the lamp on and jot it down. Sometimes it is hard to get back to sleep, but some thoughts from it have, I believe, produced some very interesting artwork. When I get time from my busy life as Mom and Wife and am able to get my canvas or camera out to create art, I reach for my sketch book and journal. I skim through all the various stuff, and I always come up with something from it to create. It's funny sometimes though, as I flip through everything I've put in the book and journal, I think to myself that I must be crazy, or that something I wrote was just plain stupid. It doesn't matter, though. I look back through what I've put in and the ideas, dreams, concepts, or images may seem completely stupid or crazy, but, more than less often, I have some real winners in there somewhere. I try to not let any ideas just go, no matter how silly they may seem, it's worth the time to write them down.


Posted by: Duygu Kivanc on 01/11/2013 - 4:17 AM

For people who have the urge"I have to paint this"Inspiration comes unexpectedly.You just have to be ready for it.
For me I visited so many countries and wanted to document my feelings about that place .Because my work is mostly about feelings.
My figurative work,especially the nudes are done at the studio-drawing classes,which I take continuously.
I then take my drawing and turn them into paintings.
Everybody has God given talent, but turn it into something memorable takes discipline For me:I do not have to have the inspiration,but start my painting and look into that white surface to accomplish a painting.

Duygu Kivanc


Posted by: Alys Caviness-Gober on 01/11/2013 - 7:17 AM

Seasons ~ nature. Landscapes by season. Flowers, gardens, waterways.
Photographs ~ foreign lands, historic places, ancient sites. I cannot travel by plane or across oceans, but I love looking at photos or far away places.
Moods/emotions ~ sometimes good, sometimes bad!
Historic or patriotic: meaningful people, places, or events.


Posted by: Catherine Basten on 01/11/2013 - 9:48 AM

I also I am also an emotional painter.
A vision of a subject usually comes to me in bed, when I am trying to sleep. Then the quest begins by either taking a photo or researching for a paticular subject or scene. I sketch out my ideas many times before I am happy.
I would like to share that I am enjoying viewing so many talented artisrts; want to congratulate all of you.


Posted by: Nikki Frazier on 01/11/2013 - 10:15 AM

My life inspires me. I love fashion, color, dancing, learning about new cultures. My husband helps me and
introduces ideas to me on the internet.


Posted by: Nicla Rossini on 01/11/2013 - 11:35 AM

Hi Madalena my problem is not inspiration, it is the time I don't have! I want to paint something on a recent astronomical discovery and also have an idea for another "Chinese Ink" but am still looking forward to some free time to do that.
I take inspiration from things I am passionate for (diverse topics) or traits/landscapes I find beautiful


Posted by: Catherine Howard on 01/11/2013 - 12:11 PM

Thank you Madalena for this wonderful thread! I have enjoyed reading all these amazing responses! It is good to reflect on what inspires us, and perhaps more to the point, what drives us. I have more ideas that I will ever have time to paint and am trying to make up, in too short of a time, for all the years that I ignored this compulsion. Inspiration for me comes from many sources but I think my best work is driven by strong emotions... either present or books, which are my second love,.... by music and dance... I do both while painting, which makes for a messy painting area most of the time! Other artists inspire me greatly and I have met so many outstanding ones here at FAA. I also have an absolutely incredible mentor, who inspired me, coaxed me, begged me to start painting again and who encourages me and critiques me along this exciting journey.


Posted by: Heart On Sleeve ART on 01/11/2013 - 12:17 PM

some amazing ideas


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 01/11/2013 - 12:26 PM

My inspiration often feels like a download of thoughts, ideas, pictures when it comes. Sometimes it feels infinite with possibilities. Sometimes inspiration is like a car having trouble starting, eventually it the engine kicks in and I say, "Oh yeah here we go!" I am on the road again.

My muse comes from many, artists, photographers, dreams, poetry or a song. My biggest challenge is patience to not rush, but take time and develop the painting. The other challenge is the voice of the critic that says it cannot be done. It takes determination from the depths of my soul to hear my muse say, "It can be done, you have envisioned it, it already is."


Posted by: Sophie Vigneault on 01/11/2013 - 2:27 PM

Great discussion! What inspires me is to give objects, people of places, a chance to be remembered. I try to look at ordinary things and give them a life! When I walk alone is when i'm most open to what I see. I pay attention to details that others wouldn't take the time to look at. And inspiration is EVERYWHERE you look.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:28 PM

Mj Olsen

Social commentary is always a great stimulus to create!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:28 PM

Mary Sullivan

I can understand you very well! Keep it up... is very good your way!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:28 PM

Leanne Howie

Indeed, anything can be a source of inspiration!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:29 PM

Madison Etrela

I love mythology too! Here are concentrated the dreams and nightmares of humanity.

I think the major formats are always much easier to work that small.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:30 PM

Sheri Lauren Schmidt

"What is the purpose?"...Who need a purpose to create?If you are an artist you can not stop creating. You need it like the air we breathe, and the food that feeds you, you can not live without it, so simple like this!

GREAT POEM! Thanks to share with us!!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:45 PM

Jane Bucci
God is always present

Carol Wisniewski
Are always goods the walks of Sunday

Mary Ely
You are very organized and you have a nice working method!!

Duygu Kivanc
I agree with you! We must work hard and not stop doing it!


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:49 PM

Same more quotes:

- I'm not inspired every day I go to the studio, but you've got to push yourself. Do it every day and once in a while things will really click. That's the biggest high you can imagine. - Jamie Wyeth

- Very few people know how to work. Inspiration, everybody has inspiration, that's just hot air.- Beatrice Wood

- I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired...- Richard Wagner

- Inspiration demands the active cooperation of the intellect joined with enthusiasm, and it is under such conditions that marvelous conceptions, with all that is excellent and divine, come into being. - Giorgio Vasari


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:52 PM

- Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered. - John Updike

- I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. - Brenda Ueland

- If that condition of mind and soul which we call inspiration lasted long without intermission, no artist could survive it. The strings would break and the instrument be shattered into fragments. - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/11/2013 - 6:56 PM

Alys Caviness-Gober, Catherine Basten, Nikki Frazier, Nicla Rossini, Catherine Howard, Heart On Sleeve ART, Sydne Archambault, Sophie Vigneault
Thank you so much to share with us!!

- Buddha suggests to those who need inspiration for their art to go to it before a perfectly blank wall until its design, composition and subject reveals itself. - Jack Rutherford


Posted by: Bonnie Goedecke on 01/12/2013 - 10:47 AM

I am inspired to paint by observing special lighting effects that create interesting accents on a scene or person. Also emotional connections to what I am painting gives me inspiration. Sometimes just have to step back for awhile until it comes to me.


Posted by: Barbara Keith on 01/12/2013 - 11:53 AM

Inspiration? It comes to me just before sleep.. I get an idea and have to write it down because - these days - the memory just isn't what it used to be. I usually do animals of just about any type but I've recently discovered the joy of painting flowers (that inspiration came from the gifts my cousin's children gave me after she passed. She was into watercolor and I avoided it for over 40 years). Now, that takes care of the "ideas".. to keep me going it's music!! I always listen to something and that range goes from smooth jazz to rock and roll, to rhythm and blues, to country to classics to anything that sounds good... even Gregorian Chants!!
Then there's the oddities that "happen". I'll be working on a piece when suddenly a "vision" pops into my head of a complete piece - very exciting stuff that - and I, again, have to write it down with a little thumbnail sketch to help me remember. You have no idea how many ideas I've lost over the years for lack of pen and paper!!


Posted by: Mary Sullivan on 01/12/2013 - 1:56 PM

I love the quotes with which you introduced this fruitful sharing and for taking the time for your gentle encouraging responses. Thanks Madalena.


Posted by: Amy LaBonte on 01/12/2013 - 6:23 PM

Walking away inspires me. Walking away from the work to take a shower, make some food, watch the sky, feel the sun. Alone, and away from striving... that's when the answers come.


Posted by: Chrisann Ellis on 01/12/2013 - 8:21 PM

I am Inspired but what is around me... It can be a new song I hear.. A new Voice... or A New Blend of Colors .... I also get so Inspired by spending time on FAA.. and viewing Outstanding artist Galleries.. Gets my blood going to paint, which is my passion!... they surely get my creative side going... :)


Posted by: Quin Sweetman on 01/15/2013 - 12:38 PM

I am a part of many art groups with opportunities to paint from life ...models, still lifes and outdoors. It's hard not to be inspired with so many amazing and talented women around me. My problem is finding the inspiration to"finish" things in my own studio.


Posted by: Dora Sofia Caputo on 01/15/2013 - 9:37 PM

As a nature photographer, I am totally inspired the moment I am in the presence of beautiful landscapes and flowers. Nature is my passion, and as someone before me said, it is in my soul and spirit! My heart races when I am capturing things of beauty. I always thank our Creator for having given us such a wonderful gift as nature!


Posted by: Inspired Nature Photography By Shelley Myke on 01/16/2013 - 3:25 AM

Hello Everyone-

What Inspires me??

I am a Wildlife Photographer and Nature Photographer by choice.
This past summer I began shooting still life for the first time...trying to pay the bills.

Surprisingly I have been enjoying it more than I thought.
I have illness and getting out in nature to capture images of wildlife is often very challenging.

Wildlife and nature itself inspires me so that one is easy. Apart from nature...color inspires me.
With my still life work I often get my greatest inspiration when I go to bed... and when I awaken.

I am fortunate to not find myself low on inspiration.... just the energy, time and health it takes to follow through with
the inspiration as it comes.

I do this full time.... so I photograph each and every day.
The more I photograph the more inspired I become... with new ideas.



Posted by: Barbra Drasby on 01/16/2013 - 8:07 AM

I am inspired by so many different things and find the best drive to create is when deep emotions from within naturally spills out and escapes. When I'm lost for inspiration it is motivational surrounding myself by nature and just taking time to absorb and philosophically think about the world surrounding me.


Posted by: RC DeWinter on 01/16/2013 - 11:56 AM

History, mythology, personal emotion, admiration for the work of great artists all combine to inspire me. I am also fascinated by architectural style and the different ways of portraying light as well. Sometimes I will create a new work to go with a poem I've written; sometimes I write a poem after I've painted an image and post them together.


Posted by: T Alyne on 01/17/2013 - 12:37 PM

TRAVEL, exploring new cultures and engaging therein.
TIME ALONE, hiking, biking, drawing, painting.
ENVIRONMENT, weather, colors, nature.
RESEARCH, reading philosophy/poetry/science/medical/etc..., looking at art, museums, architecture, history,....
MAKING CHANGE. Currently, planning a trip to South America or Central America. Afterwards, moving to Colorado.


Posted by: Jane Chesnut on 01/17/2013 - 11:49 PM

My emotions really play a big part into how i paint, Music and lyrics spur many ideas and inspire how i paint, some days are moody and dark, some are colorful happy. I try to release my feelings and emotions into painting. Life is a jounery filled with emotions in every breath. I cherish everyday.


Posted by: Shirley Sirois on 01/18/2013 - 10:10 PM

Living in Canada I have the pleasure of enjoying the four seasons which continue to inspire all aspects of my life. What I wear, what I cook, how I decorate the home and what I post on FAA are the result of that inspiration. It's been my way of life since a child and I pray that it will continue as each new day arrives! If I took a picture of each new inspiration my house would runneth over!


Posted by: Karen Lewis on 01/21/2013 - 3:21 AM

So many things inspire me and I love to experiment and try new techniques/ideas. I often find that I am inspired by the work of others - not to copy but often others works will springboard an idea in my head - sometimes they work and sometimes they don't - but I still have fun trying! Thanks to all the above for sharing - it is interesting to see how others find inspiration - some new things to consider!


Posted by: Sweet Moments Photography on 01/22/2013 - 4:40 PM

Photography Prints

"I am inspired by the love that I feel for my children, the beauty of flowers and nature, love for music, people, animals, feelings/emotions, passion for art, faith, hope, love... I've been passionate about visual art since I was 3 years old...and music (piano) since I was 4. I don't
know what it's like not to, and I am greatful to have found this site and thus be able to share with everyone my work."

-Thank you so much Madalena for featuring my work in this wonderful group, I truly appreciate it!

:) Marilyn


Posted by: Christine Drake on 01/27/2013 - 8:16 AM

I am inspired by a beautiful moment, something I see in the sky or through the trees, color, clouds, animals, etc. A wow moment will get me going because I want to share it!


Posted by: Julie Cameron on 01/27/2013 - 10:56 PM

Nature always inspires me. A trip to a park or the beach is always inspirational.


Posted by: Madalena Lobao-Tello on 01/30/2013 - 10:24 AM

I have known great FAA women artists through this discussion.!!
Thank you so much to share!!


Posted by: Catherine Basten on 01/30/2013 - 10:29 AM

Van Gogh stated it well; I dream what tp paint & paint what I dream.
I too dream of an idea; then the painting isn't complete until I conquer what I envision. Many Blessings Catherine


Posted by: Debra Forand on 02/01/2013 - 10:33 AM

Nature inspires me, gods beauty. I just close my eyes, clear my head and when I am at peace I just see what others do not. Being a romantic dreamer helps as well.


Depicting The Inexpressible

Posted by: Kristine Kellor on 02/02/2013 - 4:15 PM

The possibility of capturing and depicting the inexpressible drives my excitement in watercolor painting

I began my explorations of watercolor painting in 2000 as a way of “entering” rather than fighting severe chronic pain. In a meditative state, I painted the pain I was experiencing. Employing color, texture and motion, I captured and transformed the pain. This process led me to enjoy and embrace painting as a visceral, failure proof, activity.
I believe the process of intentional painting ensures success. If one is content to accept even a tiny segment of one’s painting as an authentic expression of one’s interior or spiritual experience, painting becomes a joyful experience. When I sit to paint, I most often am moved to do so by an inner desire to explore and capture a strong emotion or intuition I’ve found myself incapable of describing in words.
I begin my paintings with the intention to play with a particular color, medium, or technique, altering my approach, as I enter more deeply into the painting process. Experiencing colors interiorly, I symbolically associate particular colors with specific feeling states. Transparent watercolor provide an excellent medium for expressing the flowing, changing, interrelationships of motion, color and emotion.
For the past three years, I’ve been volunteering at a local inpatient Hospice. Happily, I was allowed to design and institute a creative art activity program for the patients and their loved ones. Assisting the actively dying in playful, often joyous, engagement with simple “artful” projects continues to be a rich experience. It has taught me to see again, with fresh eyes, the powerful effects of color, line, motion, texture, etc. on the human spirit!


Posted by: Janet Kearns on 02/21/2013 - 4:26 PM

I get the best inspiration from visiting an art gallery, or failing that, trolling the pages of art sites and seeing what others are up to. People/artists never cease to amaze me and then I feel like amazing myself!


Posted by: Dora Sofia Caputo on 02/22/2013 - 4:15 PM

As a nature photographer, I become inspired by the beauty of nature - by what our Creator has so generously given us for all to enjoy. Just looking at a pretty flower, or a beautiful landscape is reason enough to fill my heart with appreciation and joy.


This discussion is closed.