What Inspires Me?

IMG_0283That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the topic for March’s Blog-o-Sphere Think tank is a monstrous one.  What Inspires Me?  Whoofta….where do I begin? How all encompassing is that question? And yes, I signed up to write about this topic because it means so much to me.  However, I’m going to limit my response to just one thing and one aspect within it.

As an artist, my answer is one that may seem trite.  But it isn’t when you think about the scope of it.

What inspires me?  Nature!  It is at the top of the list.  Let me explain why.

My dad was a landscaper.  I consider him to have been an artist who worked wonders with landscapes of the homes in the town where I grew up.  My work is heavily influenced by my observations of him working his magic.   Manicuring an evergreen from something that was unruly and overgrown to a finely coiffed thing of delicate beauty, turning an unsightly back yard into a lush setting, taking great care and respect toward everything that grows.

Just last week a dear friend brought back a gift for me from her visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s (FLW) Taliesin West.  A book filled with quotes from the man himself, FLW.  The first of his quotes that captured my attention was:

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”

The next quote that spoke to me was:

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”

Where my art jewelry is concerned, those two statements are very true.  I found my artistic voice once I started creating shapes from things in nature.  Our backyard aspens have become the models for many of my pieces.

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As I prune our aspens, I save various branches to serve as my models.  The details preserved in the leaves and branches help me to capture them in metal.  I refer to them often as I work.
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The graceful way they flow out from the tree is what I try to capture in the cuffs I make that are part of my Botanical series.

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I don’t limit my inspiration to aspens.  Yet I do incorporated them frequently in my works.  I think these photos exemplify what influence and inspiration our aspens provide.  A single leaf is as unique as our fingerprints.  The details of the veins that bring life to every cell within the leaf.  God’s beautiful creation embodied in a leaf, a branch, a tree.  I find it wondrous.  So my work, just as things are in nature, is unique.  No two pieces of my work are identical because they are hand made by me.

I feel truly blessed that I can escape to our back yard and soak in the beauty of being in the great outdoors.  A view of Pikes Peak is in the distance.  During the summer months, I enjoy the whispers our Quaking Aspens make with those leaves.  The fresh, clean air with clouds traveling across a turquoise blue sky.  The occasional whinny of a neighbor’s horse.  One of our bassets batting at me for attention as I try to drink it all in.  Sure, a lot of artists say they are inspired by nature and yes, I am one of them.  It cleanses and refreshes my soul, my imagination, my creativity.  Just one of the many things where I find inspiration.

Now lets see what my fellow bloggers had to say on this topic.

Andes Cruz:  https://andescruz.wordpress.com
Pallavi Gandhi: https://studioat605.wordpress.com/
marie bell ::  www.pencilfox.com
Tosca Teran:  http://nanopod.me/2015/03/11/inspiration
Catherine Witherell:  http://happydayart.typepad.com
Beth Cyr – http://bethcyr.com/blog/
Allegra Sleep: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/allegra-sleep.html?tab=blog
K. Skiles Studio: http://kaskiles.com
Shelagh Blatz: www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog

Namaste

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Why do I love Spring?

The topic for this month’s Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank relates to our thoughts and feelings about Spring.

I will say that Spring is not my favorite season, yet it holds so much promise that I do love it.  All of the typical commentary about renewal and rebirth apply.

One of my favorite signs of Spring is the blooming of a small flower, the crocus.  I love how these determined little flowers pop through the snow at times, sort of saying “Enough winter!  It’s our turn”.

Living at elevation like we do, past 7,500′, it sometimes feels like Spring will never get here.  But it does and I do enjoy how it is mixed in between wintry blasts.  As we wait for Spring’s arrival, sometimes as early as February, my husband likes to say “It’s almost Spring!”.

Once it is officially Spring, according to the calendar, he will change it to “Last snow!”.  As of Monday 5/12/2014, this was the “last snow”….still waiting on that one…..

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The view from the front of our house of the ‘last snow’ on May 12, 2014

Eventually, inevitably Dan is right and we will have had our last spring snow.

As the weather does warm with Spring’s arrival in the Rockies, trees bud, flowers bloom, animals give birth to their young.  I love all of that and what it represents.  A fresh start, propagation of the species, and rebirth of the earth.

Out where we live, I get to see baby antelope, calves, and even geese.  Every one just as cute as they can be.

For some reason I thought a lot about how special Spring is this year and every year.  Savoring the freshness of things greening up and just enjoying the start of another season.

Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers had to share on this topic:

Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com

marie bell    www.pencilfox.com

Kirsten Skiles http://kaskiles.com/studio-updates/

Catherine Witherell   http://happydayart.typepad.com

diana bell: http://www.bellsprings.blogspot.com

Namaste.