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Looking for Inspiration

August 3, 2019

Have you ever felt uninspired? Maybe it’s the summer heat, but I’ve been unable to stir up a lot of inspiration in the studio lately. Feeling a little scattered is part of it as well. I have several must-do projects underway — paintings I’ve promised to a gallery and a commission — as well as teaching the weekly beginners’ watercolor class. So my focus is kind of like a spotlight that shines brightly on first one shiny object and then the next one.

Notice that these things don’t take into consideration the daily maintenance of my surroundings and keeping clutter and dog hair at bay.

Just reading that back, I realize the problem. Too many must-dos. Reducing those down to a minimum or — ideally, to nothing — would open me up to the inspiration that would come naturally as a result. Inspiration is all around us. We just need to open ourselves to it.

In the meantime, the watercolor class I’m teaching is forcing me to get inspired for at least 2 days a week, preparing for a class and actually deciding what I’m going to demonstrate, and practicing beforehand. Then the day of class is kind of a long one, spending whatever remaining time I have before class getting ready, and then the 2 hours with the students.

This week we did sailboats. More than half of the students live on the water. We have one big river running through all of our communities, along with some major tributaries. So naturally the water and the sky are favorite themes. Here’s a fun little slideshow I made from Tuesday’s class time.


Something to remember: Leave room in your day for inspiration.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2019 8:58 am

    This is exactly where I’m at, and just what I need to do!

  2. Susan McCollum permalink
    August 3, 2019 9:06 am

    Hi Martha,
    It does sound like you have a sizable to do list, all wonderful. I find teaching exhilarating and draining at the same time, it always takes a day or two before my battery is recharged. When I pay attention to my energy level, I try to “layer” art maintenance/housekeeping tasks with creative/exploration activities. Congratulations on getting a commission, a gallery and teaching; it sounds like the trifecta of a fulfilling art life! I always enjoy your blog, glad you are back at it.
    Take care,

    • August 3, 2019 9:39 am

      Thank you, Susan. When I’m truly paying attention, I can avoid fatigue by switching gears frequently during the day. Work on a painting for a little while, then move on to something different, and back again. There is this one huge painting (the commission) that I want to see finished and out the door as soon as possible!

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