Finding Inspiration

May 18, 2023 | My Thoughts

When considering my inspiration, it easy to come up with the cliché answer of, “I find inspiration all around me!”, because while I do, I’m certain that isn’t really what you, my readers want to know. I suspect you want to know something, or some things, more specific.

What inspires my paintings?

Women. I have had some amazing, strong, and dare I say, inspiring, women in my life since childhood _ most notably, my grandmother. I won’t go into her life here but perhaps another time. While by today’s standards she wouldn’t be particularly independent, strong-willed, or sassy, for those days, she definitely was. She was red-headed and as fiery as they are credited with. So I will credit her, and a few other notable women in my childhood, with giving me that sense of self we all so desperately need.

But today, in my art, I am inspired by women who are out there living their best lives, those who are struggling, those who are fighting for their equality and the equality of others, those who are in despair and those who are pulling their sisters up. I’m inspired by those who are setting the standard for a better tomorrow, raising children who are more kind and more aware of their place in the world, and those who are living a life of their choosing – with or without children. I truly believe and embrace the idea that we are standing on the shoulders of our foremothers.

So I’m inspired by women. And the men who support, love, and encourage us.

And let me be clear, I support all genders and gender identities. My use of “woman”, here and forevermore, will always include anyone who wishes to be identified as such.

My current series, as of March 2023, I’m finding inspiration in women who are passionate about their creativity. The first half dozen or so paintings are about various types of visual artists: printmaking, ceramics, fiber artists, painters, and photographers. Before long, I hope to expand that to other art forms like dance, acting, writing, and music as well as other creative pursuits. I know nurses, attorneys, editors, bookkeepers, farmers, entrepreneurs, firefighters, teachers, and a myriad of other professions who are passionate about those careers. But it isn’t just about careers for me, it is about passion and pursuit! So I’m thinking of women I know who are crazy about art cars, makeup, volunteering, child-rearing, motorcycles, travel, piercings, swimming, reading, and the list goes on.

Why? Why do I feel so strongly about painting these passionate, creative women? Because I believe it is these women who are living their best lives… The ones who are beacons to the rest of us when we are feeling unimportant… When the world tells us we are not worthy… When we are lost.

What else inspires me?

Art in all forms. I simply love going to the many amazing museums around Houston. I also love going to galleries, especially the openings where I have a chance to meet the artists. Art is so often about the story and those stories are written and lived by the artist. When I can’t get out (or when I don’t feel like putting on grown-up clothes), I’ll look at Instagram or surf the web looking for art that makes me feel something.

Music! I listen to music all the time around the house. This is a whole other topic but my musical tastes range from Rap to Country and Oldies to Pop. Along with those you are very likely to find Jazz, Motown, Classical, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Rock, Classic Rock, and Zydeco on my playlists at any given time. Just please keep my partner, Norm, off my playlists.

My city. You truly can’t imagine how much I love Houston. I should have been a tour guide because my enthusiasm for Houston is infectious, I’m told. I won’t go into all of the reasons but short list is diversity, culture, and food.

Great conversation. Yep, had to include this. Some of the most inspiring moments of my life have come through interactions with other people. I love critiquing with artist friends, read an inspiring book (that’s a conversation!), hang out in a coffeeshop and watch fabulous people out living their fabulous lives.