Most, if not all, artists know that inspiration can strike at any time, and in the strangest places. When one thinks of an artist's list of inspirations, I'm sure the list contains such things as beautiful ocean sunsets, snowcapped mountains, or a night sky filled with thousands of stars.
Well, even sitting at a red light behind a line of cars can bring inspiration, as you can see in this photo of a group of small winter-barren trees. And yes, they were photographed while I was waiting at a red light.
I had spotted the trees a week or so beforehand and thought to myself that the contrast of the stonework (which is actually a portion of an overpass/exit ramp adjacent to the intersection) and the delicate branchwork of the trees was really something special.
Now, my aim is to use this inspiration to create a few pieces.
What has inspired you lately?
I'm sure I'm not the only artist, amateur or professional, who has struggled with what should be the simplest of tasks: coming up with a title to a painting. And why should this be so ridiculously difficult? I'm sure you would expect that it would be much more difficult to come up with a subject, or even a color scheme, but I actually find it much more of a dilemma to name my finished piece.
I usually like to name my pieces with simple, one or two word titles. Sometimes the titles are somewhat obvious, such as "Red" - a painting of mine which is predominantly red, or "Goldfishy" - a small acrylic of - what else - a bright orange fish. Others are symbolic, representative of the "movement" of the subject or colors, such as "Wind" - with its swirls of color depicting swirling wind. Sometimes it takes a while before I come up with that one "perfect" name for a piece.
My latest painting, shown above, spent nearly a week without a title. I at first focused on the colors - the deep purple, the contrasting yellow and pale lavender-white, or the bright aqua blue. I considered the subject: the island with trees, or the moonlight and stars shining around them, or the vast sea surrounding the little island.
I finally put all obvious clues aside, and just thought of what the elements altogether brought to mind. An island - an isolated island - most likely quiet, secluded. It's surrounded by water, which is a beautiful deep aqua. Trees provide shelter and shade. The moon and stars shine brightly, bathing everything in a soft glowing light. I decided a place like this would be quite an escape - a sanctuary. So, I had finally come up with a title: Sanctuary No. 1.