Personal inspiration and art…the creative process.

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Inspiration and where it comes from has been huge for me as an Interior Designer and artist. The busier life gets; the more stressors piled on; I notice how easy it can be to lose sight of what inspires me. The days I set aside as studio days sometimes feel like, ” It’s monday, one, two, three…now, be creative.” It doesn’t always work that way. Here’s the point……I have to find what inspires me, or the steps it takes to get into a creative mode; to feel alive, and take them. I cherish them, and I see now  how important they are for my well being, and creative productivity. Stress, messes, life events are always happening, making the choice to create, within the real circumstances of life a huge, but possible endeavor when we recognize the importance of your journey, and what we really need. To me these things are just as important as, well….food, air, breathing. In so many ways, they make me who I am.
Childhood, and memories of it have made a huge impact on my concepts of design and art work. Here’s a  glimpse of how they’ve generated inspiration in my current paintings……
As a child my grandfather took me to Maine. We would stay in small cabins in the woods at Boothbay Harbor. A dinner bell would ring each evening, welcoming guests to enjoy homestyle cooking, around a large farm house table. As I ran from my cabin, the simple screen door slamming behind me, I would take in the sights and sounds of the environment. The crunching of the pine needles beneath my dime store flip flops, invoking a subtle  yet “oh so sweet” smell; the fiddle bow shaped ferns growing along side the shadowed cabins, serenading me as they stretched and grew from the earth; each wonders in themselves for a small town Ohio girl……The sound of the water lapping Maine’s rocky edges: Peace….I had found peace.  The simple complexity of the textured Maine tides and the lulling of the waves rocked my soul into a gentle, consistent, meditative state of calm at a mere age 9.
The homestyle meals prepared by the lodge owners close knit family and the feel of the linen grain sack napkins between my fingers taught me resourcefulness along with a wonder and appreciation for textiles.  Waiting to be seated before I could savor the homemade cornbread, and local honey, taught me patience and a love for the visual aesthetic of the stoneware vessels in which the foods were contained.  The trip became a mental filing cabinet in my brain,  all neatly being tucked away, compartmentalized if you will, for my creative journey in life.
Robert McCloskey famous for his writing, and beautiful illustrations wrote one of my all time favorite books, “Blueberries For Sal”. So often  I recall my mother quoting, “Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk”, from the book. Remember “Make Way for Ducklings” and “One Morning In Maine”; also by this author? McClosky grew up in Hamilton Ohio, a mere 20 minutes by car from my childhood home. My example, his inspiration, his stories and  illustrations can be seen as a glimpse into his creative soul.
Through the years I would stumble upon a photo of a lighthouse and my heart would leap. Like a high-school crush:” Can this be a photo from Pemaquid Point in Maine?” All of the sights, sounds would come flooding back; the metal filling cabinet being opened and searched. As I traveled to exotic places near and far, still collecting, filling these images and thoughts, tucking them away, in the anticipation of them being pulled out and shared another day. Maine, the ocean, tides, sounds ,images of old seamen in yellow, the lobster traps, sailors knots,  sailcloth, buoys, local artists, lighthouses, driftwood….all advocates of New england beauty.
Such simple journeys can make a huge impact on ones life, and for us visual folks, well, it is the air we breathe…..Find your inspiration, search your mental filing cabinets, with images tucked far away in the corners of your mind, dust them off, use them to create stunning works.  Look, we’d all love to share in your creative journey too; your joy, your peace, what makes you, you.  It is the savor of life……I thought these ideas would be a fitting prelude to a few pieces of my work;  Maybe deepen appreciation of materials used and why…….driftwood.

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About refoundesign

Hi! I obtained a B.S. in Interior Design with a focus in Art History. After working in computer aided design and years of child rearing the embers of artistic creativity are being rekindled and I've begun working a mix of media including photography, folk art painting, and repurposing vintage finds. I love sharing in the joys and inspiration of other creative bloggers as well. Welcome! Heather
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2 Responses to Personal inspiration and art…the creative process.

  1. Margaret Smith says:

    Heather,
    Have you ever read a little book called “The Homesick Heart” by Jean Fleming? It’s subtitle is “Longing for Spiritual Intimacy” Your blog took me back to reading it again. I had not gotten far into it but you have encouraged me to go on in it.

  2. refoundesign says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words!

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