Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finding Inspiration Part 2

This is a painting that I did LAST  week that I had been itching to do. Sadly this week - no painting or  creative work as the week was filled with working on mundane things like course descriptions, my taxes, working on accounts etc. After next week I will be working from the right side of the brain again!

This piece was inspired by a turn-of-the-century postcard of the Notch, looking towards Hunter Mountain.
Normally I work from my own photograph, and when I can, plein air, but I was intrigued by this image and wanted to paint it. It needs a few touch ups here and there..a little more brightness and color in a few places, but I was totally inspired by such a small piece of paper, from a time where there were no billboards,  few cars, and the Catskills were far less marred by the existence of our culture.

Back to the grunt work of running a business. It's got to be done!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Finding Inspiration

Quite often I am asked "where do you find your inspiration", and what do you do when you are blocked?

First of all, let's get one thing straight - I am never blocked. I work in enough media that if I feel blocked or tired of working in one, I can move to another. I bounce back and forth between painting, collage/design and exploration for future classes; I am always working on something!

Regarding inspiration, nearly everything in life is a source of inspiration for me. I live life to the max, and when I encounter something that makes me say AH HA! I write it down, or let life's experiences simmer inside of me-and something usually comes out of it. I have learned not to push the muse. She is always there;  I just have to be willing to be part of the journey and it usually works out.  I had a conversation once with my accountant about this, saying: "John, EVERYTHING that I do should be tax deductible as an artist". My conservative, but kind accountant just laughed at me. "No, REALLY JOHN, I am serious." I understand that some things I can only take a portion of..such as food, wine, and chocolate (OK I buy if for the kids who come to the studio so it IS deductible) but nearly everything I do finds its way into my art.

An example is today's layouts of some collaged journals I am working on. I saw the movie "The Invisible Woman" about Charles Dickens and his secret lover  .  Thought I felt it lacked the passion that Dickens must have experienced, I was entranced by the costumes and interiors of the early Victorian era. Several days later I started laying out my journals, using 1840s prints from antique ladies magazines that I had been collecting, mixed in with incorporating 1920's French seed labels and other papers.  Mix them up with my perchance for the surreal, and your have very cool journals to document your own secrets.

Stop by the studio if you are in Rhinebeck. I can be found teaching/creating/thinking Wed thru Saturday, 12ish to 6 or later if I am in a creative flurry! When the journals are finished, they will reside here, and also be hosted in my pagibbons shop on Etsy!