Inspired is the exhibit opening at the Gallery Uptown, Friday, May 5. I'm part of the exhibit and thinking about what inspires me. So many things... other artists, old boats, textured walls, sidewalk cracks, colorful gardens, old structures, garden statuary, other art, even by things I’m working on at any given moment.
There are so many things that inspire me that it is difficult to zero in on one. Different inspirations mean I produce different works.
For this exhibit it’s a combination of techniques I've learned from other artists, texture, sidewalk cracks and a challenge from yet another artist.
When using acrylics I frequently pick up some of the paint on a piece of drawing paper. At the end of a session I also pick up paint that’s left on my palette on drawing paper. That paper I use for collage or to make into sketchbooks. I used some of those sketchbooks for a few challenges a couple years ago and while I was working on the series of sidewalk cracks a friend remembered the challenges and wanted to see the sketchbooks so I got them out.
For the sidewalk cracks I start by putting down several colors of acrylic, some colors over another. Looking at my sketchbook it occurred to me that I could use a better quality paper to pick up that paint and do a realistic drawing or painting on that paper. That has started a whole new series.
As for the sidewalk cracks, watching another artist cover a piece covered in red with a couple coats of white and then scratching shapes with an exacto knife produced an interesting look. For years I have collected photos of sidewalk cracks and the idea of scratching through a layer of paint to get the color underneath made me think of them, and thanks to a niece who gave me her hygienists tools, I had something to do some serious scratching with. That and Leonard Cohen’s “There’s a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.”