Friday, August 10, 2012

when inspiration hides...

Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out,
the need to be rid of something or to get in touch
with something within.
David Duchovny

I've been feeling a little less inspired lately.
The heat and humidity is getting to me.

I know some people will hate me for saying this
but i'm counting the days till autumn.

So there. 

Started with a gray background
and blocks of lights and dark acrylics...

At this point, she kinda looks like a zombie,
but that's ok.

With portrait painting, the artist shapes the face
just as a sculptor does with his clay.

Except of course, if it's watercolor.  ;-)

I find watercolor a little less forgiving
when it comes to shaping anything.

Still not sure i like her at this point...

Gave her a bit more of a smile and a softer jaw...

I haven't been happy with much of what i've created lately.

Maybe the planets aren't aligned or something.

I'm giving myself the time i need
(hence, my absence in blogland lately!)
but I am looking forward to cooler evenings
and feeling more inspired.

Where do you find inspiration?

Do you create without it?

Do you wait until it finds YOU?

Thank you all for visiting...


  1. I like how she transforms from someone with an almost frightened face to someone who looks very satisfied and in peace with herself.
    I have found: the more I create, the more inspiration I get. I have done a few challenges in the past half year, where I HAD to create every day, and while I didn't always feel like it or had no idea what to create, I forced myself to do it, and for me it works...

  2. She is beautifully created and love seeing your process ~ Divine! ( A Creative Harbor)

    Right now (heat and humidity) ~ Decided to just 'play' and explore acrylics and try not to judge just let it come and let it go ~ Using Flora Bowley's book Intuitive Painting at the moment ~ just a suggestion

  3. Oh I love her expression ♥♥♥! I wish I had more time to paint...when I see art on all these wonderful blogs I am totally inspired to paint here for my own :)

  4. I love that quote! So true... I am waiting for the fall with you - ugh to the humidity!! I love to see you process here. It is lovely to see her change and emerge to her true self...

  5. I never know until I start. Some days nothing seems to go quite right and other days everything is flowing smoothly.

    I love how she transformed from zombie to blissful woman! :):)

  6. Seeing her go from start to finish was amazing. She reminds me when I feel an unexpected breeze on a muggy humid day. I am with you about the heat- I have been staying where it is cool. Counting down to autumn with you!

  7. I totally understand. I've been counting the days til Autumn since we hit over 100F every day back in June. The heat usually doesn't bother me, but this year..I can not wait for cooler air to breathe!

    I get inspired by reading blogs, and looking at art sites online..or looking at art books. Watching Youtube videos of artists painting usually make me want to paint. But, if I'm in a big funk I get away from the studio, and go do other things for a few days.

  8. wow if I could paint a face like that I would be over the moon with joy. Wonderful features with so much character. Happy PPF, Annette x

  9. Hot weather can really zap inspiration. I think your face is very expressive and beautiful. It's amazing to me that you created so much depth with watercolor. Wonderful work!

  10. Part of me wants to say, what are you on about, no inspiration? This is amazing! But another part knows exactly what you mean, since I live there right now. I do find it hard to sympathise about the weather, but then I live in England. :)xx Here's to the return of the inspiration ANY SECOND NOW.

  11. Very impressive how you went from a gray background to this fantastic portrait. You really do know how to handle those watercolors well!

  12. oh Miz Katie... a 100 degrees?!? pant, pant...
    Tara, i'm with you. Waiting. ANY second now... ;-)

    Thank you all for the lovely comments.
    Btw, this is an acrylic portrait and not watercolor.

  13. I love seeing your progress shots. She turned out looking so at peace.

    I've been stuck as well, the weather has been in the low to mid 90s for me recently and I've been feeling like a melting blob. I can't even stand to look at my paints right now. Even picking up a pencil or pen has been out of the question until late at night when it hits low 90s to high 80s.

    I still look around for inspiration though and try to create even without inspiration (though sometimes it's just me starting at a piece of paper). I have to even if I'm not inspired because if I don't get some creative work in, I become a very cranky person.

  14. She's amazing, and I love her at every stage...

    I find that I am at my best if I create every day. When life kinda gets in the way (as it does with three kids) I get grumpier and grumpier until I start working again. And then it takes awhile to get back in the groove.

    I'm with you on being ready for fall, though. We've had AC issues, both in the house and in my studio--I'm ready for just being able to open the windows!

  15. Wonderful, she looks so confident and strong. Love seeing the stages

  16. You are so good. Are you constantly trying to top yourself?
    This is a powerful piece of art.
    I admire what you can do.
    So I get inspired by seeing art the likes of yours...and hers, and his...and I endeavor to do something every day...mostly I WANT to, feel a need to...but my art is simple, doesn't take much time or pondering. But even that makes me happy.

  17. This is beautiful and so inspiring to see how your painting develops.

  18. Funny that you should mention painting being like sculpting - I have been thinking about exactly the same idea last night! I know how you feel... sometimes I don't like ANYTHING I've done. When it happens, I tend to take a break from drawing and painting, but still keep going with art-related books (artists biographies, art history books) or being in nature. Usually after a week or so I'll feel like actually creating art again, and feel happier to do it then. :-) Good luck!

  19. When I am stuck I find inspiration away from the computer, I normally journal, or go for a walk, or just paint and create without expectation. Expectation to junk on my page because it is reflective of the junk in my head. Sometimes I find some happy surprises! :)

    I love this painting, and I love your progress shots. I am also looking forward desperately for spring. The magnolias are blooming so it is not far away now (though the forecast tomorrow is no indication of anything other than winter!!).

  20. Your portrait is beautiful. The final painting looks like someone who is just breathing in the moment.

    I am inspired by nature. The colors of the sky, the grass, and beautiful flowers all make me want to paint.

  21. Paula, I'm so with you on looking forward to autumn! Hang in there. Yesterday was wonderfully rainy (first cloudy, rainy day we've had in MONTHS). I have scads of projects to complete before the 20th. Know what I did? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I played piano. I just couldn't get the inspiration. I think you just have to "roll with it". The Muse just doesn't live by our rules :o) BTW - your woman is beautiful!

  22. Paula,
    What a great quote you opened with!
    Had never heard that!
    Your portrait is great, and I'm glad you found inspiration while creating it! :)
    I, too, have not enjoyed the oppressive heat this summer. Finally things cooled down this week! :)

    I do create even when I feel uninspired, because, like you, I usually find inspiration in the process!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  23. The transformation is amazing. I loved seeing your process. Inspiration comes in so many ways. I find that if I pay attention is surrounds me on a daily basis. Its just a matter of opening my eyes and seeing it. Lovely work. Happy PPF

  24. Although she did start out looking rather zombie like, I think she ended up looking rather content to face the calming breeze :). It's cooler here today. Windows open and enjoying it immensely.
    Stay inspired!

  25. I loved watching this piece come together. I am amazed at the rich depth of texture and tone you achieve with the layering of the watercolors. I don't think she looks like a zombie at all. She looks like she's just completely at peace, especially since you softened her expression a bit. Lovely to see.

  26. I find this quite breathtaking. Thank you for showing the progression. As a noob, I always find the progression so fascinating.

  27. It's kind of thrilling to see your painting go from a tense, sort of scary face to an expression of peace and contentment.

  28. Great post Pauline... And an even better question" where do you get your inspiration, do you art without it?"
    I've written about this subject, in my past postings, and I find there is no "one" answer, quick fix, or a cure-all to inspiration. The word itself, I have come to realize, is as real and alive as we are. It as open as the sea, wide as the valleys, and as strong as the mountains. It can hit us like a hurricane, be as sutle as an afternoon breeze, or it can get as dry as the desert!! Just like these weather conditions, we find shelter during the storms, enjoy the good weather, and look for ways to be comfortable. Inspiration, is no different... When I am having a dry spell, I quench my thirst. Books, blogs, videos are my source. When I am bursting at the seams with "creativity", I wish to share and put as much of it back into the universe! So, on those nights when I can not find my way... I can always count on the North star to find my way. ((hugs)) :)

    Love your painting, such feeling you put into it!
    Thank you for sharing your talents and thoughts, along with me. Take care my friend.

  29. You are one person who always inspires me!! I'm wondering if this might be an emotional self portrait.. You have captured so many graduating emotions in each step! I find her very spiritual, gathering energy from beyond!! A powerful piece!!

    Thank you for sharing so candidly!!

    Hugs Giggles

  30. When inspiration takes a break I take a break with it... sometimes I just need time to sort through things in my subconscious, but I find that as I work more and find that I am painting every day that this happens less and less.... once I shifting away from my fine art image development angst that was rammed into my head at art school and turned to connecting to what is around me it all became simple, and there is endless inspiration all around me... so by taking all the pressure and thought away a whole new world of ideas opened up... sure you will find more inspiration as the weather cools...xx