where do YOU find inspiration?

Jenn at Just Add Water Silly asked the question this week as the prompt for Artists Playroom - where do you find inspiration - what inspires you?

I thought this would be easy so I kept kind of putting it off.  Then I realized I'm headed out of town for the long weekend and if I wanted to participate, I'd have to get my behind in gear.  I realize there's a quick, superficial answer (books) and one that's a little deeper, more introspective (which I'm usually not).

Off the top of my head - what inspires me?  Books.  First and foremost.  When I want to relax, escape, learn, or delve into a topic, I head to a library or online (Amazon is a personal friend - oh wait, that's not a real person, is it?).  When I decided I wanted to learn to paint with watercolors a few years ago, I read every book in my local library, I bought books on sale, I stalked Amazon and asked for painting books for Christmas.  I absorbed then practiced.  That was my inspiration.

I absorb more than just technique from books; I enjoy seeing how a variety of other artists use the techniques to create their own special art.  I mimic, I attempt to copy, then I branch out on my own.

Ronda, Spain painted from my photo

So last year when I reignited my interest in art but became interested in exploring mixed media, what did I do?  Found a book.  Then another one.  Then I noticed a difference.

I discovered the online art community and my world expanded exponentially.  There's still a strong connection to the power of a book - BUT, I find so much inspiration online.  The difference is, the inspiration isn't necessarily about an image, a journal page, painting or collage - the inspiration is about people.  

An early mixed media piece w/ wire and beads, layers and layers.

I find inspiration in the way online artists encourage and support each other, the way solutions to problem paintings are suggested, the way ideas and techniques and resources is shared so readily.  It's inspirational to know that if I'm having a bad day (or week), my blogging buddies will offer comfort and support and even solutions if needed; if one of us has a muse go missing or are facing a new challenge like opening an ETSY shop or submitting for a gallery show, the rest of us will rally around in encouragement.  That's an invaluable source of inspiration.  

You inspire me to keep trying, to keep growing, to keep reading and sharing what I learn.  The art blogging community inspires me to be brave, to be adventurous, to find and develop the artist I know is lurking in there somewhere.  

Thanks to all of you for the inspiration - and thanks Jenn for suggesting the topic and creating the opportunity for us to share our sources of inspiration.


  1. Great post... I alternate between books and the online world too, blogging has changed the way I work enormously and I love the interaction... have a great weekend and glad you got your butt into gear...xx

  2. So well said Terrie. Loved this post, not only do I covet books too but the blogosphere has been such a joy to participate in and be inspired by. So insightful.

    PS. The artwork is gorgeous too!

  3. A wonderful post on inspiration, Terrie! I can't believe I forgot to add books to my inspiration list....I'm a bookaholic too and have heaps that are art-related. Like you, books helped me so much. I love the art pieces in this post too...you're quite the inspiration yourself!

    Enjoy your long weekend! :)

  4. Terrific post Terrie, loving your painting. The artist on line community are supportive, encouraging and full of wonderful ideas. Annette x

  5. Brilliantly said Terrie...I loved what you wrote plus the art work is so beautiful.
    I know I couldn't live without books in my life and now I feel the same about the blogosphere. xoxo

  6. I love your mixed media piece. My idea of art. And I would love to browse your mixed media library someday because I don't own any books like that. If I did, maybe my art might improve (grin).

  7. Incredibly well said my lovely. I am with you on all of it in more ways than one too, and goodness me it was like looking at my own bookcase ha ha.
    Big hugs x x x x

  8. Wonderful work..a feeling of magic..incredibly beautiful..lovely post!
    Visiting from APR

  9. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Great list of inspiration - it's really everywhere isn't it? Enjoy the holiday. xox

  10. I never got anything done for APR this week. :( But I was thinking about how I could incorporate books and youtube and blogs--LOL! Absolutely agree with you!! :):)

  11. I really like your collage piece that says "if you are feeling blue, paint yourself a different color"! How as artists could we not have thought of that! You are so right about the supportive nature of other artists who inspire us by their art on-line in real time around the world, really amazing when you think about it!

  12. Books are some of my best friends too. My motto for my studio, classroom and blog is "Read, Explore, and Create." Blessings!

  13. I too used to purchase books as soon as I found a topic that inspired me, but I too have been finding inspiration, education and community on line more and more. I am so happy to have found your blog and am your newest follower.

  14. Well said! The online community of artists and creatives is simply amazing and inspires us to not give up. Warmly, Tracy APR #13

  15. That is a fantastic post Terrie and so true. The people online are just the best most supportive people I've ever met. You said it beautifully and I love your art.

  16. Love your collage Terrie! beautifully done! although i have books, magazines and dvds, i agree about how the online community is so encouraging and inspiring! And i look forward to all of us learning & growing together on our artistic journeys. :)

  17. books are wonderful! The only reason I don't read as much as I used to is that the internet exists :D I agree about the blogosphere empowering exponentially - it has transformed my whole relationship to art. That is a fabulous mixed media piece BTW! so layered and deep

  18. Your mixed media piece is absolutely fantastic.I LOVE it!books inspire me too..and your post is so true.the art community is so warm and welcoming!




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