What's the difference, I've often wondered, between the person whose sketchbook or journal is brimming over with ideas and doodles and notes, and the one who sits for hours and hours in front of a frustratingly blank page of emptiness?
What's the difference between me, for example, and the people I encounter every day who seem a bit lost, unmotivated, uninspired?
What makes me different as an artist than every other artist out there?
Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm special or extraordinary here. If anything, I'm ordinary in every way.
I've just noticed that compared to most people, I'm observant. I mean, in a visual sense I notice everything. I see the red bird darting among the gray branches. I'm the first to see a deer standing in the woods (even before my husband "the hunter"). I pay attention to color, values, composition. Frost on the ground, reflections in the sky, the grays and yellows of a field in the morning, the tiny ladybug that always seems to be wandering around in my kitchen.
It's inspiration. All of these simple and seemingly insignificant things I notice every day. They inspire me.
Take this house for example. I pass it every day on my way to work. It's my favorite house and reminds me of a castle with its columns in the front and tree-lined driveway. It's two-toned stripy teal and terra cotta are beautiful against the dark backdrop of surrounding pine trees and forest. I have visions of this house as a painting with girls and horses out front. I imagine what the people are like who live here and don't even realize they have me as an admirer. I think about what it must be like to walk out the back door and into the woods behind.
So I suppose if I could give just one piece of advice to anyone who might be craving inspiration today, I'd say,