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It’s interesting where inspiration comes from, how does it manifest, what triggers it? It seems to be elusive at times, I can spend days, weeks and, occasionally, months seeking new inspiration with little success until now; I’ve come to realise that I just have to trust, to stop searching so hard and allow inspiration to arrive.

I’m aware how vague and fluffy that sounds but I actually do believe it! Living close to Dartmoor and the coast, I really shouldn’t be stuck for inspiration, but it happens all the same; I suppose, it’s not so much inspiration as style, composition, and use of colour that can be the stalling point. How do I create art that looks different when I’m using the same-ish subject matter? This is where my new way of approaching a painting/project has helped enormously!

I have always sketched on location, usually making at least 2 sketches or more of the same subject, these have been created for their own sake – creating a sketchbook to flick through and jog my memory; nothing more than an aide memoir.

I now work in a very different way, I deliberately make many sketches on loose leaf pieces of heavy cartridge paper; this way I’m freer in my mark-making, more bold with colour and composition! I do have an overall notion of how I want each piece to look – planning is key! However, I remain loose and expressive in my design.

The magic happens when I’m in my studio – it’s a technique I’ve picked up from a lovely artist called Lewis Noble; I choose one from the collection of sketches as a base, then begin to compose and refine the original piece by collaging using the remaining sketches! You become selective, considered, the entire process slows, you move into the thinking stage of creating. Having spent time responding to the scene before you, creating a version of it, feeling, listening, enjoying the sense of place – you now gather the very best aspects of your experience from your sketches and begin composing your reaction/experience.

This process is utterly liberating and dynamic! You will create many collaged pieces to inspire you, and, often, offer a new direction for your art! Also, it’s suitable to all media; I’ve used watercolour, acrylic, a combination of watercolour and charcoal, I’ve also used oil!

Give it a go!

Why not join me on one of my courses, I’ll show you exactly how I gather inspiration for new art! Pop over to my website to book a course; there’s a selection to choose from, plus, I’m about to add many more 😉 Spaces are limited, so don’t delay and risk disappointment!

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