Have you even wondered about your favorite artists and what they might have forgotten, left out, or failed to create because they lived in their particular era? In other words, they created what they did and now….what’s next? This is the inspiration behind our new weekly art blogging event “What’s Next Wednesday.” Each week on, you guessed it, Wednesday, we will post a new prompt which asks you to expand on something a well known artist has already done. The goal is for you to channel the spirit of the original artist and then add your own spin! You can find all the details here along with a few simple rules to keep you from going all willy nilly on us. No worries, your creativity will still be able to flow freely.
To get the thought process flowing, here is a reinterpretation of Van Gogh’s famous piece Starry Night.
Perhaps this is how Van Gogh would have completed the work, had he enjoyed the use of digital equipment? Maybe this is Starry Night over a desert instead and there was a cactus in the foreground. In any case, the spirit of Van Gogh remains, but a new identity has been achieved. So, dream about stars, computers and cacti tonight, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the very first installment of “What’s Next Wednesday!”
I recently discovered a true literary treasure while waiting for my order to be filled at a local print shop. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a great little book about artistic development and the right to “steal art.” Now don’t go getting excited about walking out of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa! The book talks about copying inspiring works and, through that process, understanding the perspective of the artists that you are emulating (the latter being the most important piece of the process). As a result of that, and that again, and that again, a personal perspective can flourish. There are also many other thoughtful gems in this book … but I will leave that for your to discover. Check it out (and visit www.austinkleon.com for even more fun stuff).
When it comes to my artwork, one of the inspirations that keeps motivating me is … butterflies! I love their bright colors and lovely diverse shapes. On top of that, it makes me blissful and calm when I think of how gracefully and easily they navigate their surroundings, fluttering through the air or landing on one flower and then the next. Never in a hurry and always, seemingly, bearing a sense of purpose.
I am lucky, then, that we have a butterfly garden in a nearby park. It houses many beautiful plants and features which draw in fluttering beauties continually during the summer months. As a way to get inspired, I recently decided to visit there, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The day was sunny and beautiful, and there were many different types of butterflies visiting flowers all around.
In the middle of the garden, there were chairs where visitors could lounge and take in a view of the garden or relax with a book. What a lovely place!
I circled the entire grounds several times and stopped to observe as many butterflies as I could. They allowed me to come very close, as you can see here (I took all pictures with a smartphone and did not zoom in!):
Bees were also enjoying the bright blooms and nectar buffet. Luckily they were too occupied with work to get agitated about a camera “buzzing around.”
Here are all of the great scenes I was able to capture at the garden. I can’t wait to recreate some of these beautiful things with my paintbrush!