Finding inspiration in nature
I've been thinking recently about creativity and inspiration. Where does the urge to paint a picture come from? How come I go through periods when I have time to paint, but don't feel inspired or motivated? What has to change to allow me to start painting again? This winter I went through one of those times, when I was feeling bored and a bit despondent and couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to put pencil to paper. The days were dull and grey and the nights long and dark. And cold. I had some ideas of things I wanted to paint but I couldn't be bothered.
And then, in February, I spent a few days with my family out walking and bird watching. Wrapped up warm against the chill air, gloved hands fumbling with my binoculars and camera.
The winter sun shone on some lovely red and green dogwood bushes. A flock of long tailed tits flitted around a bird feeder. I captured a kingfisher with my camera - a blurred explosion of colour.
A marsh tit posed perfectly for a photo.
Despite the winter darkness and grey days my mind started to fill with colour and possibilities and my enthusiasm returned.
After that trip I looked through my photos from New Zealand, and painted these black oystercatchers. I usually paint birds in a woodland setting and wanted to experiment with sand and sea.
At the end of February I spent a weekend on a drawing birds from life course at Martin Mere nature reserve and had fun with some lovely artists (I am wearing a lot of layers in this photo!).
Then I painted these long tailed tits (by the way, this painting is for sale - more info here.)
And at the moment I'm in the middle of painting these yellow tailed black cockatoos - inspired by seeing a flock of them in Australia last year.
Painting the black oystercatchers and the cockatoos has been lovely, revisiting my memories of past places, sights and sounds - and sunshine!
But what inspires me to actually get the paints out and create? Time spent outdoors. Nature.
What inspires you and motivates you to get creative? I'd love to know, please leave a comment below!
You can get a free download of one of my paintings, 'Waxwings in Autumn', here.
See more of my paintings on my website www.sarahwisemanart.co.uk.