Inspiration is Everywhere

by Linda Robertson

Even as a fine artist who paints for a living I still have to fight for the time to do it. Other things are always pulling at me (including that darn laundry)! I used to feel guilty when I wasn’t in my studio, but I’ve finally realized that some part of my mind is always working on my art. Inspiration is everywhere and a quick peek at the photos on my phone will reveal how much they influence the forms and colors in my paintings.

Remember that old saying, garbage in garbage out? I think they were referring to food, but it also applies to art. I find that I have to curate what imagery and stories I spend my time with because generally what I allow in to my mind is also what pops out in my paintings, even if it’s in a slightly different form.

I tend to paint very intuitively, first making backgrounds and then deciding later how to use to them. I don’t usually do a lot of planning and sketching until that point, so sometimes even I am surprised by the finished product. I tend to create imagined landscapes with lush botanical forms and vibrant colors, but I’ve recently realized that my abstractions of nature are not always so abstract. Below are two interesting examples of that. I had no intention of painting either of these subjects, but that’s what came out as I went along.

This turned into a loose representation of Mt. Olomana, which I lived close to for nearly 20 years of my life. It’s not quite the same but what means much more to me is that it reminds me of that beautiful mountain and my fond memories of living there. I prefer to capture the feeling of a place rather than a literal depiction of it and that’s what happened here.

This moonscape was a real surprise! After stepping back to look at it I realized it is very heavy influenced by the Japanese card game I played as a child in Hawaii. I haven’t thought of Hanafuda cards in years, {click here}, but I remember loving the illustrations. I must have tucked them away in my memory for later, and here they are resurfacing in my painting.

So even if you aren’t actively creating art every day you are still collecting what you’ll need for later. Who knows what will appear next time you make the time to create?

Linda Robertson, September 2017

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