Have you ever wondered how do artists ignite the flame of inspiration? Many artists never run out of inspiration while other artists have occasional periods when they could use a spark, catalyst or muse to recharge their creative batteries. Some artists travel for ideas, use rituals, such as exercise or mediation, or commune with the natural world.
In search of a variety of sources of inspiration I turned to some of the members of the Manhattan Arts International Artist Showcase Gallery. Meet artists Mary Lou Dauray, Darlene Kaplan, Roberta London, Gaia Orion, Valerie Patterson, and Allison Coelho Picone (presented in alphabetical order).
Mary Lou Dauray
“I’m a consummate traveler. My art is a reflection of the many places I have traveled to around the world. My artwork is my voice. I know that art has the power to challenge me and also to change the world to make it a better place. I am definitely inspired by a variety of artists, both past and present. Some of my favorite artists are Helen Frankenthaler, Howard Hodgkin, Eugene Delacroix and Ross Bleckner.”
Visit Mary Lou Dauray’s website at www.maryloudauray.com
“I warm up my body with Tai Chi. Before I start to paint I grind my ink into an ink stone which warms up my arm and my mind. This allows me time to think about what I am going to paint and how to proceed. I guess you would call it active meditation! During the time that I am painting I listen to either Chinese music or CD’s of nature sounds.”
Visit Darlene Kaplan’s website at www.darlenekaplan.com
“I’m a through-the-lens explorer and composer working mostly in the field in natural light. Sometimes the most brilliant flower gets my attention. Often, though, it is the less obvious, the one tucked away in the shelter of leaves, or buds not yet open but full of promise for what is to come. There is, of course, the occasional bird or other critter that crosses my path insisting on a portrait. Some of them make me offers that I just can’t refuse!”
Visit Roberta London’s website at www.robertalondonphotography.com
“To be honest, I never ‘need’ inspiration. I have enough ideas to paint for the next five years… and ideas keep coming! But if I did need to find a space to be inspired it would be anywhere in nature because that is where I feel most connected to the source, the infinite, which is where I feel my boundless creativity comes from!”
Visit Gaia Orion’s website at www.gaiaorion.com
“When I need a dose of inspiration, I slow down, pay attention and listen. Often there will be messages to receive, be it either in the news, from a television show, a book or poem, or a topic brought up by a friend or at work. When the same idea or theme repeats itself numerous times or tugs at my heart, they are the ones I use in my paintings. I believe that ideas flow through me rather than come from me.”
Visit Valerie Patterson’s website: www.valeriepatterson.com
Allison Coelho Picone
“When I need a dose of inspiration, I walk or hike conservation land or my quiet street. Nature’s fresh air yields a presence that immediately soothes and allows me to see and hear things not normally seen or heard. My beloved camera documents my inspiration and I often use these photos as reference, collage bits or a textured base to my paintings.
“In addition to enjoying the great outdoors, I look to philosophers, poets, and artists for inspiration… A simple sentence or phrase from these inspirational people invokes images, ideas and thoughts I use and apply in my work.”
Visit Allison Coelho Picone’s website at www.allisonpicone.com