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The topic this week at the Bluestocking’s Meeting is: “What are your sources of inspiration? Is it from within? Or without? Is it divine or not so?”

This topic is so timely for me. There is more synchronicity happening in my life than I know what to do with! And, it’s all thanks to the Artist’s Way, the ritual of writing morning pages, practicing Yoga, and learning to manifest my own artistic journey.

During my first college art class, the professor -a petite and enthusiastic woman with kind eyes- imparted some amazing advice to me. Our objective was to draw a still life -including shading and shadow- both of which I felt wholly inadequate to learn.

(Shading and shadow had always been hard for me. But, during the course of the class, she taught me to “see” in new ways. “Follow the line,” she’d say. “Just follow the line. Is it darker here than there? Why? Where is the light? Where is the shadow? Pay attention to the chiaroscuro,” she taught us. And, it worked. I saw objects in new ways –literally. I saw light where before I’d noticed none, I noticed the patterns it made across the Humboldt Bay at sunset while I drove to art class. I’d see the way the grays and greens would soften, as my perspective of the red- wooded mountains would increase in distance. I noticed the way a shadow appeared to ripple across the glittering fresh water lagoons of Northern California while the idyll ocean mist made its footfall on land.)

The advice my professor -herself an accomplished artist- imparted to me: “A piece of art is your own creation. You are allowed to take whatever artistic liberties with it that pleases you. The point is NOT to make the still life an exact replica of itself. The point is to create the still life the way YOU see it –the way YOU interpret it.”

Because of her words I know that Philip Sydney’s quote is true “”Fool!’ said my Muse to me, ‘look in thy heart and write’.”

Outer sources of inspiration -no matter how profound- are in every case filtered through the being of the artist and through the eyes of the beholder. It is the gift of the artist to allow the world to see life through his or her own eyes. While inspiration abounds and the muse plays her coy game of hide-and-seek, the heart and soul of the artist actively participates in the formation of inner landscapes. Do I believe that inspiration comes from within? I believe that interpretation comes from within. As for inspiration –it lives everywhere!




Oil Pastel & Sharpie 18″ X 24″

Literary Bohemian


Synchronicity is so amazing sometimes. This is my very first time I’ve participated in Illustration Friday and it happens to compliment this weeks topic at the BlueStocking meeting. The topic for Illustration Friday is “Sprout.” But I think what I drew signifies a growing and healthy hope, also.

Literary Bohemian

p.s. This is just a thumbnail. if you’d like to see a larger version, stop by my blog.

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