I love to travel. I’m always thrilled to experience exciting new cities, posh hotels, and amazing restaurants. I usually find myself saying “I wish I could stay one more day” at the end of every trip. Last weekend, things didn’t go quite so well. When I stepped off the plane in Charlotte, I was enveloped in a thick blanket of foreign pollen that inflamed my sinuses and set my throat on fire. Things went from bad to worse when I arrived at the hotel. The queen-size bed felt more like a double, the thermostat wasn’t cooperative which caused me to oscillate between freezing and sweating, the GPS in the rental car routed me through congested construction zones, and something from the hotel’s breakfast buffet left me in desperate need of Pepto-Bismol. It was the perfect travel storm, and I was a fish out of water—floundering on the dock. I was less than 24 hours into my trip and all I could say was “I wanna go home!” I couldn’t wait to get back to my own king-size bed and my kitchen, which is stocked with organic goodness—and Pepto-Bismol. When I finally made it home, my inner artist needed solace, too. I pulled out my watercolor tubes and brushes. And to me, that’s just as comforting as a warm blanket and a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s good to be home.
“Fish out of Water”–Pen and Watercolor on Arches Aquarelle
Lately, I’ve been in the mood to make something—to build—cut and paste—construct. Maybe it was my trip to Home Depot that planted the seed. I still wasn’t ready for power tools, but I definitely could handle scissors. I decided to try my hand at making a collage.
It was tedious, detailed work, but it was fun. Collage work is a little like putting together a puzzle. The beauty of it is that if a piece doesn’t fit exactly, you can trim it down and make it fit. I think there might be a life lesson in collage work—If something in your world isn’t working, trim it to fit.
I often hear artists pleading to their muses for inspiration. “What should I paint, write, sculpt?” But who really needs a muse when inspiration is all around us? Open your eyes, step outside, take a walk, call a friend, talk to a stranger–What makes you laugh, cry, feel? Inspiration is everywhere. It’s in the air you breathe, the night sky, your child’s laughter. Inspiration is waiting in your imagination, your thoughts, your dreams.
This week, my inspiration came from a simple pond. The koi swam gracefully as their vivid colors and patterns created a living mosaic that constantly changed like an animated kaleidoscope. I was captivated by the amazing colors, the reflections in the water, the awesome beauty of nature’s creations. I don’t have to look for inspiration–It always finds me.
“Sisters”–Acrylic on canvas