Monday, July 4, 2011

A Thing of Beauty

Out of all the hats I wear, "The Artist" is one that I am constantly trying to cultivate.  In my quest to capture this title, I have been driven to create inspiration journals, a pictionary journal of myself, Artist Trading Cards, and even join a community of women artists called Milliande after its founder.  I cross-stitch, paint, sketch, create mixed media, create folkart furniture, and am constantly snapping pictures with my camera, possibly the best purchase I have ever bought for myself.

Even though I have more than enough time to spare, I find myself lacking in inspiration.  How does one create without inspiration?  I have read books, searched through Bing and Google Images, and listened to music all in a vain attempt to ignite that creative spark.  I can only assume that this is an "artist's block" since I experience that same nauseating malaise I felt in college the week before a research paper or essay was due.  This artistic constipation is almost as bad as the real thing since I am constantly putting in effort, yet nothing ever comes out.  My inspiration journal has all but stopped.  My pictionary is stuck on the letter "N".  I am only producing about 2 ATC's per month, and I have completely stopped receiving Random Acts of Art Kindness.

So, what does one do in order to stop being "stuck"?  This is where I turn to the lovely group of ladies at Milliande Art Communtiy for Women (http://milliande.ning.com).  Here I find advice ranging from topics to art supplies and encouragement from ladies who feel the same way I do about art.  These women create art for the sake of art...simply to beautify the world around them and find the window to their soul through the pages of a sketchbook.  I have been inspired in more ways than one by these ladies.  Right now, I am working on a Symbolic Matchbox Shrine based upon my favorite symbol at the moment, the Hamsa, and I am trying to capture the essence of Mother Earth for a series of Artist Trading Cards due by the end of the month.  So, with these extremely feminine concepts, I have found myself perusing the pages of the Internet for inspiration that never seems to come.  That is, until today.

The lovely founder of Milliande posted a slideshow from YouTube of my favorite artist, John William Waterhouse.  Waterhouse appeals to my senses and sensibilities in many ways.  He lovingly honored women of history, mythology, and literature in every stroke of his paintbrush.  He captured all four embodiments of woman: the virgin, the witch, the martyr, and the saint.  (I always like to add the mother, the child, the teacher, and the whore.)  And although Waterhouse does not necessarily portray Mother Earth, I would prefer to think that she exists in each of his paintings.

Here I have embedded a little bit of lagniappe for your inspiration as well as mine.  Enjoy!

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