Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sizzling Summer Inspirations

It's July 15th, and here in Minnesota I am already starting to think about winter. I'm one of the annoying midwesterners who actually looks forward to the first snowfall. That being said, by the end of January I'm ready to run away from home, and down an a bottle of vitamin D! Somehow winters must be like childbirth, because despite the pain I always look forward to another one.

One reason I look forward to winter, is because I am not really an outdoor type person. I camp occasionally, and will eat dinner outside, but I am not an avid out door person. This summer I have started walking at least thirty minutes a day, so I spend more time outside, and I think it's actually growing on me. The main reason I look forward to winter however, is that I have far less plans and therefor get much more time in my studio. When it's ten degrees out, and a foot of snow just fell you find you can hold off on those errands until the next day...or the next day...or....May?

I made a decision this summer however, to try and sneak outside now and then and check out the landscaping at our new home as it grows and hits its different bloom times. We bought the home in February and had absolutely no clue what the yard looked like.

Whenever I step outside to check on our flowers and plants, I always have my iPhone with me for pictures. I was so happy that I had it this afternoon when I went out to water flowers! I have been working on a series of pieces with butterflies on them, and today I was lucky enough to see three different types of butterflies while I was outside. I only managed to snap pictures of two of the kinds, but WOW did they turn out neat!

 And here are the pieces I had been working on before I saw these little butterflies:

 Yesterday we had some big storms move through the area, fortunately all my area got was a little rain and some thunder. It gave an awesome show cloud-wise however. I had some errands to run yesterday and was treated to some nice picture opportunities!

 Part of my errands were to check out a local city campground and park that I will be camping at this weekend. I took a couple of shots that I can't wait to put into fiber form!

One of the most comment questions in the art field in general is, where do you get your inspiration? Well, most of my pieces are very organic and inspired by nature. That's why I carry my phone with me everywhere, and often times have my regular camera available too. I have a small Cannon digital camera, that has 12 megapixels but is tiny enough to easily slip into my purse.

Yes, it's nice to get to go to the zoo, a conservatory, or some glamorous destination to acquire shots for inspiration. It's nice, but it isn't necessary! You can get the most amazing pictures right out your front door, or over your house, while out at the grocery store or while stopped at a stop light! I will admit I have also secretly taken photos of some poor women from the waist down because they were wearing a pieced skirt that looked like a quilt!

Digital cameras were made for people like me, that's for sure! When I am on vacation I usually come home from a two week trip with somewhere around 2-3,000 pictures on my hard drive. I know, it's excessive. The good part is, that aside from space on a hard drive these pictures cost me nothing! If they are awful, at least I didn't pay to have them developed!

When using my regular digital camera, I always take pictures as the highest and biggest setting available. I realize that this makes the file sizes obscenely large, however you can always go smaller on a digital image, but you can't go larger without starting to see pixels on the image.

So, for the rest of the summer, I will be getting myself outside! I am going to soak up the rays, feel my cheeks get warm and pink in the sun. I will snap shots of anything I find interesting or beautiful. I will hold on to this time, because I know that all too soon, it will be cold out again. I want pictures to look at and draw from, on those days when the white and gray shades of snow and winter leave me feeling uninspired!

Why don't you do the same?


  1. I don't think I really minded the winters when I lived up north. Vermont has lots of snow and I actually enjoyed it at times, but that was many years ago. I will let you enjoy the snow for me.

  2. Thanks, Stephanie...loved your ideas for inspiration!!!