Friday, 27 May 2016

Get inspiration from Nature

As an artist, inspiration is sometimes hard to come by. I do a lot of painting and sketching from memory and from my imagination, but sometimes my Muse just doesn't want to play along. that's when I turn to nature for inspiration. 

Taking your sketch book outside or setting up your easel in the garden is a great way to stimulate inspiration - from the simple curve of a leaf to grasses gently blowing in the breeze, the topics are endless - the neighbour's rickety fence, a lonely sunflower, the puppy stretched out on the lawn, the sheen of the rooster's feathers as he struts by - all it takes is some imagination and seeing the beauty around you.

The sea and coast holds a great fascination for most of us, and walking the beach can unearth the most wonderful treasures, from smooth glass to round pebbles, pieces of driftwood and, of course, the most collectible, shells. Unfortunately for these wondrous living creatures, this spells doom, as people will go to great lengths and pay hefty prices, for these little creatures, which results in the harvesting of a living infrastructure which will not last forever.

And living proof of this is the fact that, walking the beach does not often turn up many shells, and in some areas, none at all. I have sketched some of my beach finds (from many years ago!), but nothing can portray the beauty of some of these as well as the living specimen.

The beautiful "Stepped Plough Shell" - a truly lucky find!

Watching the seagulls drifting on the breeze, ever keeping an eye open for a possible tit-bit, is one of my greatest joys. They effortlessly hover on elegant wings, alert eyes not missing a single move of anything on the beach or edge of the water. One such gull was hovering over me on my last visit to the coast, his beady eye a black pin-hole, staring straight at me, evaluating the possibility of another piece of bread being tossed up into the air.

A simple fisherman's boat, brightly coloured on a calm stretch of misty water, can offer a startling contrast, one which caught my eye at Hartebeespoort Dam in the North-West Province (South Africa), not too far from where we live. It was early evening after the main rush of tourists and visitors had calmed down and the guy was gently drifting with the slow current, trailing his fishing rod. I asked my husband to stop the car and hurriedly did a quick sketch, noting the colours of the boat in the border of the sketch for later reference.

Taking a walk in your garden or a nearby park can reveal real treasures of inspiration - I came upon this tree in a friend's garden and the play of light and shadow was fascinating. I had a bit more time to sketch this and could capture more detail.

Take time for yourself - Women's Chiffon top

All these images are available printed on various products like framed prints, greeting cards, postcards, men's and women's T-shirts, chiffon tops, skirts and scarves, leggings, phone, tablet and laptop skins and covers, throw pillows, duvet covers, mugs, tote bags, studio pouches, drawstring bags, stickers, spiral notebooks and hard cover journals.

Thank you for the visit and enjoy your day!

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