For me it’s colour and texture. Obviously it’s a huge influence on my own painting. However, it doesn’t come naturally that just because I see something that takes my breath away that I can reproduce something of the same ilk!
What tends to happen is that artists, through experimenting and understanding of themselves and their work, develop a recognisable style – the visual voice. The conveyance of the artist’s meaning through inspiration, subject matter, art elements, composition and the process.
“[The visual voice] is the piece of magic inside ourselves - the amazing actuality within us.” – Cristina Acosta
Luckily for me as an intermediate discoverer, there were artists who are willing to share their experiences and advice, and since taking note of them, I am making a more focussed route to my desired approach to creating. (A quick mention is deserved here of Megan Chapman – she has been amazingly helpful through her blogspot and review.)
The resulting understanding of what was within and how to express it was the catalyst to beginning to find my visual voice. Then came the sifting out of what was working and what wasn’t. Before that I had spent most of my life looking at art and experimenting with different media and had already built up an inner connection with certain styles. I admit I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way :)
It’s never too late get in touch with yourself again, and I suggest that a reminding of your original source of inspiration is very important to your creative path.
How to do this?
Well, keep visiting galleries / workshops / museums / art shops and the like. Make a date to visit events when they pop up. It’s too easy to get bogged down in your studio. Even a walk along the coast or nearest nature reserve can do it. I own a dog and it’s a great way to get outside and see things as they change with the seasons and light. Even if I’m not painting what I see, what I do get is a refreshing of my connection with my creative self. Stepping out for a few hours blows away cobwebs and allows new inspirations in.
So you see it’s vitally important to keep the passion alive for your art. Without it our works won’t be inspiring to others or have any authenticity to them. The spirit in your work will be evident through the response of the viewer.
Good luck with your journey – there’s always something to chase away the blues and get in touch with your visual voice.
painting above: Summer Evening at Shingle Street (c) 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow