As an artist, my ideas come from a lot of different places. Inspiration comes from the natural world and the things I see and hear. Sometimes my work is inspired by materials coming together on my bench. They also are handed to me in a neat package, in the form of a challenge.
My little piece of my world is rife with textures, colors and shapes. I can step out my home and see dappled light, deep green leaves, acorns and the weathered wood rails of the deck. During walks, I search for pick up objects that interest me, like dried pods and shiny stones.
Sometimes I hear a word that drives deep internet research (you might see a collection on knot theory from me at some time in the future).
And every day, I sketch shapes and patterns, designing pieces in my mind and on paper.
I won't share a photo of my bench, but trust me when I say it's a bit disorganized and messy. Unfinished projects sometimes live there for months. I might get inspired to complete an unfinished project there. Case in point, this copper and sterling silver "shield" pendant. It was on the corner of my desk for MONTHS. Every so often, I'd pick it up and look at it and place it down again. Recently, I picked it up and found the inspiration to finish it.
A couple of the rivets needed to be redone, and more added. I soldered on a bail on the back, then made a raw silk necklace for hanging. (It's available for sale -- $85 and it's yours!)
Alternatively, I might look at a stone or a bead rolling around on my bench and the muse will whisper in my ear what I need to make.
Themed challenges are a great way to think differently and build your skills. Yorktown Arts Foundation's On The Hill Gallery has a member show every year with a singular theme. Some of the past themes have been "Recycled," "Blue," "Animal Kingdom," and "Botanical." Here are some photos of pieces I made for these shows.
The theme of the next member show, which opens in May 2020, is "Water." It's time to find my inspiration....take a walk on the beach, stare at my bench and get out my notebook and pen.