Inspiration – part 2

Inspiration – a subject that is as varied as the methods and minds of artists. So, beyond logging on to Wetcanvas, I have many other ways to find my “muse” after not being actively involved in my art for a time.

I have a nice library of art books, both instruction books and inspiration books. Lian Zhen’s books are some of my favorites. While I have not been fortunate enough to attend one of his workshops, any of his books or videos are wonderful. I love his style; I am pretty much challenged by the methods that he uses with such ease. But challenge is good, as is learning new styles, media or methods.

I have worked from a couple of his videos on www.artistsnetwork.tv, the most recent one is “Watercolor with Lian Quan Zhen: Splashing & Blowing.” This particular video does not incorporate any Chinese painting techniques, just own his watercolor style. He covers several subjects on this video, moving along fairly quickly, so I grabbed sketchbooks, odd pieces of watercolor paper, whatever was handy to try out some of his lessons. Here is my quickly done attempt at his crab painting, painted in a watercolor pad that isn’t really top quality. Not the best result, but the more I worked from the video, the more comfortable I was with the methods. In addition to being challenging, I think it’s a lot of fun to try new styles and I also find it very inspiring!

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Welcome to my art blog! Why a blog? Because I love art and I love to communicate and to share my enthusiasm-what could be more perfect? I hope you will follow along with me on this journey and that you find inspiration here!

For me it’s true that even the worst day involved in an artistic endeavor is better than most any other day doing something else. So, to begin with, where do I find inspiration? After that, who knows what artistic subjects I might touch on… Please come along on this artistic journey!

Inspiration

After a brief absence from my studio, foremost on my mind right now is exactly that – finding inspiration. Some days it is as simple as a quick glimpse at one of my pets or looking out the window at a beautiful flower or bird. That isn’t always the case, but I find that the more time I spend drawing/painting, the more inspired I become. So after that hiatus, now what? Usually one of the first things that comes to mind is to log on to Wetcanvas, which is free-to-join worldwide online art community ( www.wetcanvas.com ). There’s not much you can’t find there: tutorials, a royalty-free image reference library with over 10 million photos, monthly or weekly challenges in pretty much any/all mediums, art by other members that will inspire you and that you can enjoy and critique-basically, something for everyone regardless of your medium!

So, of course, that is where I turned first. And what I ran across was a huge challenge to me – a self-portrait challenge! First, I don’t often do portraits anymore and second, a portrait of me? Well, I decided to try my hand at it for the first time, just a quick pencil sketch of myself from a photo that I like. So here it is, my first self-portrait (and perhaps my last) done in about 15 minutes with the mechanical pencil I had at hand, too little shading and in a 6”x9” sketchbook. Sharing it makes me feel a little like I’m walking naked through the mall!

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