Where Does Inspiration Come From?

 April 14, 2011
Posted by Cindy

Inspiration Wall Cindy Grisdela 2011

I’ve had a wonderful week recharging my artistic batteries, but unfortunately have no new pictures because I accidentally broke my camera a few days ago! For me inspiration comes from many sources–something as simple as the bright colors of the salad I’m making for dinner, or the spring flowers and plants finally showing themselves. One of my resolutions this year was to take “art days” and visit the wonderful museums and cultural resources we have in our area–this week I definitely took advantage of that!

On Tuesday, I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond to see the Picasso exhibit with a friend and fellow artist. And today, I went to the Smithsonian Craft Show in DC, then to theĀ  National Gallery to see “Gauguin, Maker of Myth” and “From Impressionism to Modernism: the Chester Dale Collection” and finally, a stop to my favorite exhibits–the Matisse Cut-Outs and the Alexander Calder mobiles in the National Gallery’s East Wing.

National Gallery East Wing Cindy Grisdela 2011

My brain is always full when I come home from these excursions, so I jot down notes and simple line drawings of things that I want to remember and be inspired by later. They collect on a picture frame in front of my sewing machine so I can look at them while I’m working. I deliberately make the drawings rather vague, so I’m inspired and not copying. Often it’s color ideas–like the wonderful saturated colors in Gauguin’s self-portrait, or maybe just the wonderful background lines in Picasso’s “Portrait of Dora Maar” at the VMFA.

[Update: one of the pictures I took from my phone ended up being usable at right. I’m getting a new camera today!]

The Smithsonian Craft Show was very interesting–although I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more fiber art there. It’s fascinating how the artists are able to create their own little worlds in each 10′ x 10′ booth.

It was a fun week, and now I’m ready to get back into the studio and start something new.

If you’re interested in seeing all of my 30 Art Quilts for the month of March in one place, please visit my Facebook page, Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts, and click on “Photos.” If you have a favorite, let me know!

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