Wednesday, May 28, 2014

i n s p i r a t i o n

I get caught too easily in thinking that the Internet is the source for inspiration. So many projects and pretty images and fascinating people. But the clicking, the links, the gets to be a little much sometimes. So this week I slapped shut my laptop, grabbed my bag and perused the art section of the library. My coffee table and kitchen counter are now littered with photography books, endless watercolor books, a random paper flower book. I've spent afternoons flipping through them in coffee shops, at the park, waiting for the chicken to thaw. Some of these books are outdated; I could find much more relevant information/images on the Internet quicker than you can shake a goose's liver. (Southern idioms are basically my love language.)

But there's something about reading the "About the Author" page, knowing the story of the person who decided to put their art out there, what inspired this photo, why Monet only painted outside.

Maybe I'm overly romantic about this sort of thing, but it's relaxing to flip the heavy pages, read a passage out loud to my husband, learn the tried and true techniques and take the risky act of pulling out my own camera, paints, paper. Because I can't "pin" these images and say, "Eh, I'll try that later." It's all a little more immediate becuase, well, library dues.

I want to learn how to paint watercolor flowers? Well, there's the book right in front of me. It's now or never.

I kind of like that.

Some gems to be inspired by...

Expressive Photography


Paper to Petal

The Sartorialist

Dancers Among Us

Painting Flowers in Watercolor


  1. I love just picking up a real book, too. I've been collecting first editions of my favorite books over the past few years, and there's just something about the smell of the pages and the feel of the paper as you turn each page. It makes it more permanent in my mind. I really want to check out that paper to petal book. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What an interesting post! I do admit that sometimes I think there's no use in books when there's so much inspiration and techniques all over the Internet. But once in a while I find myself entering the library, picking up a book and getting lost in its pages. While blogs and other webpages provide us with information and inspiration quickly leafing through the pages of a book forces my mind to slow down and digest the information. My eyes linger at an image longer, the words are impressed on my mind more permanently.

    Though technology has changed the way we receive and retrieve information, paper books are still relevant for me, maybe it's nostalgia but having something to turn physically and linger looking at makes the experience more lasting.

  3. I love books as inspiration too! The internet can be overwhelming with its array of wildly talented people and projects. But a nice, patient book is focused and not going anywhere. Right now I'm really into a book on Steampunk jewellery and another on Medieval art and customs!

  4. A good reminder that inspiration can arise from anywhere. A book needn't even be about art or include art to inspire it.

  5. As a book editor, this melts my heart. I couldn't agree more! There's something about flipping through pages in a book rather than clicking and scrolling pages on a screen ... priceless. And the fact that the library books have a return date, makes it even more important to grasp inspiration when it rises and do something with it. Have fun!!


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