Look at the Pretty Pictures!

Praying Mantis Egg Case

Where do artists get their ideas?  How did they come up with this artwork?

Artists work from what they know, from what they have lived, and from their experiences.  My own creative process is influenced by my childhood observations of the natural world, for instance.

Example to show how nature has influenced my work. (Core Remains, #15, Detail)

As a kid, I spent as much time as possible outside-climbing trees, exploring the neighbor’s fields and woods or helping my parents with their gardening projects.  I also loved to cook and learned to sew my own clothes.  The process of making was and still is very satisfying.

I also look at art every chance I get.  I have found a wealth of inspiration in visiting museums and galleries.  It is amazing to see artworks up close and personal and spend time with them.

Alexander Calder, Trapeze Artists, 1926-1933

Reading books and learning about other artists and how they approached artmaking is another way that inspires creativity.  The library has a good selection of books and I have watched almost every DVD in the Art Neighborhood.  I especially enjoyed watching a segment on Alexander Calder, the master of kinetic (moving) art.

Watch Calder in this video 

He had a marvelous sense of play and had fun making a sculpted wire circus as well as his famous mobiles.  I used to drive one of my professor’s crazy by calling my artmaking “play” and sketching with crayons!

This winter, I revisited one of my favorite artists, Wassily Kandinsky, to create a series of color studies on fabric.  It was so enjoyable to mix colors and create marks in his Abstract Expressionist style.  Coming back to my own work, I felt a renewed sense of confidence in my own unique style.

Kandinsky by Thomas Messer Call # 759.47 MES

Visual artists create from what they see and know of the world around us.  They create artworks to record the world around us and to inspire us to move forward into the future.