This painting of a Red-Headed Woodpecker is part of a larger painting, however the story behind it is an example of how I typically find inspiration for paintings.
Once or twice a year my husband and I like to go to the mountains and rent a cabin. The peace and quiet, the accessability to wild nature, the exhileration of a good hike, the views, and the fresh air, draw us back year after year. Being in an environment that is different from our day to day life can bring so much inspiration and creative flow.
After our adventure for the day, we would relax (a lot) and take our dog for a leisurely walk. It is on these walks that I take extra time to observe. It is through these observations, focusing on the uninterrupted life of the forest, that I find inspiration.
On one particular walk, the air was cool, and the colorful fall leaves had already fallen from the trees. The seasonal birds had all flown south, including the tourists. So it was QUIET.
Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw a large bird swoop by. My first thought was of a wild turkey or a hawk. But it was the red on the bird that caught my attention the most. WOW! I had never seen such a large woodpecker before this.
As we continued on our walk, this Red-Headed Woodpecker kept making an appearance, as if it were following us. Perhaps it was interested in observing us as we were it. Or perhaps it was keeping an eye on the dog, who it may have thought was a predator. Who knows.
When you find yourself feeling “WOW!” pay close attention. That is the fuel for inspiration.
Here is your assignment: Go out somewhere different, do something different, slow down and observe. What makes you say WOW! Now go paint that, write about that, create a melody relating to that, choreograph a dance around that. Create with the feelings of “Wow!” that you experienced. Then come back here and share in the comments about your experience. I would love to hear about your results.
Karen Pruzansky, Multi-Media Artist
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