Posts Tagged 'inspiration'

Trial by Fire – voices from a nonprofit

Clayworks, which i have gone to for classes, has a lovely, inspiring video called “Trial by Fire” here [Link]. I wonder if others have found similar arts organizations in their area that merge creativity with community service in quite this way. Some of the speakers are very inspiring.

If you live in the area, you might be interested in classes, or doing the Noborigama community firings if you have a wheel of your own. Their community outreach is pretty amazing, and it’s great fun to see the kid’s projects on the racks. I’m hoping that next session, I will have free time to enjoy classes again. At least I can still go to the gallery and see other people’s work while I wait for the next class cycle to open. If you’re ever in north Baltimore, MD, and you have a weekend free for a class, they do offer tastes of working with clay. I’m somewhat sad to miss the brushmaking class for clayworkers, but I think I have a previous commitment during one of the classes.

Inspiration – quilt colors

Hanging on our walls:

inspirationquilt The colors aren’t quite true in this photo, but there is the burgundy and green(s) and periwinkle I’ve been thinking about. On Friday, I wanted to go to the quilting store to get swatches so I could play with color combinations more, but I had to work late. Paint chips aren’t letting me visualize how color would work together.

How nuts is it for me to want to go to a fabric store or big box crafting store on the week of Thanksgiving? If I do manage it, I will try to get photos of different fat quarters, or acquire said fat quarters to see how they look in the light.





I’ve been thinking a lot about paper — sketching, writing, painting, writing letters.

I have friends who use their computers for everything, but I’m using pen and ink, watercolors, and pencil.

For quick sketches and writing ideas down, I have a tiny square notebook called “hand book” which comes from Global Art Materials. It’s a bit too small for the sort of sketches I normally do, and ink just drags badly over the page. The spiral bound notebook I got from a local, independent art store is wonderful, though. I’ve taken it on vacations, business trips, and just around town to local museums. It’s from a company called Bee Paper, and it’s their Super Deluxe grade of book (heavyweight drawing paper that can be used with wet and dry media). I’ve found the 6-inch by 12-inch size to be good value for my money. This picture shows a portion of a quick watercolor.

North Carolina coastline, August 2013, (c) R

North Carolina coastline, August 2013, (c) R

It’s good for pencil sketches as well (this shows the dimensions — perfect for scenery work).

A quick sketch for Project Spectrum in a park

A quick sketch for Project Spectrum in a park

So, if you have favorite paper —

  • What brand?
  • Why?
  • What for? (Which medium are you using?)

If you’ve switched over entirely to electronic media, or are doing a mix of both, feel free to leave a note too.


“F” Is for “Fountainhead”

Water for a neighborhood pond

Water for a neighborhood pond

No, not Ayn Rand. I’m focusing on Project Spectrum — water’s source as a means of discussing creativity. Where does creativity “well up” from? What inspires us to create and then hold our work up in the light?

I try to paint well, attempt to write with elegance, and seek to go beyond my limits. And why? To keep inspiration alive. If you think you’re a hack artist, it’s hard to aspire beyond that. Some thoughts from Paul Graham:

…one of the reasons artists in fifteenth century Florence made such great things was that they believed you could make great things. They were intensely competitive and were always trying to outdo one another, […] maybe like anyone who has ever done anything really well. —Paul Graham

Artists wrestle with their work’s worth, as do writers. Bankers, lawyers, and others tap into creative forces, too. The creativity is just less visible to the outside world.

The fountain of the pond

The fountain of the pond

So, as you go through your daily routine, think about this — what gets your creativity flowing?

Often I need to read someone else’s work to get out of a rut, and the current mythology project is a useful construct. I use knitting time as time to center my writing.

Do you need something external, like a walk away from your office, to kick start your ideas? Is coffee your daily focuser, or do you need Finlandia crashing its symphonic waves in your office?

Wishing everyone a little drop of inspiration in the coming months.