Finding inspiration: a few of my favorite things

I am lucky enough to have a beautiful studio outside my home that I share with another artist. It has ample space for storage, big windows and high ceilings. Finding inspiration here is not that difficult.

My lovely studio with lots of room to sit, plus tons of useful storage.

My studio: lots of beautiful light

A great idea came to me, though, when reading a book on how to sell your art, “The Handmade Marketplace” by Kari Chapin. This book is chalk full of great ideas from creating a space for art, branding your business, finding your community, selling online, and more.

In her first chapter “Setting the Scene for Success”, one of the things Kari recommends for artists is an “inspiration wire”. She shares, “Where you create can have an impact on the work you do…Surrounding yourself with things that inspire you is a good start.”

She goes on to say that the “inspiration wire” doesn’t literally have to be a wire — it can be a bulletin board, a collage, a table, even a scrapbook. I did happen to make mine a wire, though, maybe because my cinder-block wall above my desk does not allow for easy hanging of anything. However, I must admit that my “wire” has indeed spilled over onto the table, cupboard and bookshelves.

My own studio inspiration wire runs along one wall.

Kari recommends the inspiration wire should be placed where you can see the pieces often, and mine runs the length of the wall above where I often do my writing and thinking. It mostly consists of the work of other artists, plus some photographs and hand-written note cards.

In this blog, I thought I would share some of my favorite pieces by other artists with you (some from my wire, and some from my studio shelves). Maybe you’ll find a little inspiration here, too.

Where I have found the artist’s website, I have included a link so you can go see more of their work if you’d like. For some, I only know the town they are in, and for a very few others I haven’t their names at all. Regardless, all these piece have touched me in some way and I hope you enjoy them, too!

(Two updates have been made to my inspiration wire. Click here for May 2012 updates, and here for January 2013 updates.)

Woodcut block print by June Thomsen, an Invermere (BC) artist who has inspired me over the years. This one reminded me of my three sons.

My most recent favorite purchase: a beautiful Tiffany Teske assemblage that was featured in “Cloth Paper Scissors” magazine in their Nov/Dec 2011 issue.

Tiffany’s assemblage (close up) has these lovely words “Move Forward Boldy” .

Tiffany’s assemblage provides inspiration to me by hanging over my studio drafting/creating table.

My Christmas gift to myself: this ethereal Jellyfish is blown glass by Canmore artist Nicole Temblay.

Jellyfish inside color swirls that evoke the ocean.

Nicole’s jellyfish in glass fits in your hand, but carries a surprising weight.

Aspens (pen & ink and watercolor) by Phil Guy, Canmore artist.

A sketch from Canmore artist Shirley Chinneck.

Ceramic rabbit by BC artist Sarah Hunter, made when she was in her early teens.

Sarah’s rabbit (back) is delightful viewed from any side.

Storks photographed in Calgary by Pascal Desjardin.

A monotype print with beautiful shapes and shades by Karen Gimbel.

Front of a ceramic jam pot — I fell in love with the shape and designs.

Inside the jam pot, I found these treasures from several years back: rocks and pine cones. Some things never change.

Hand carved wooden fabric printing block from India; purchased at Vancouver Maiwa store on Granville Island.

Felted painting by Gert W., my pen pal who is over 80 years old and still creating!

A George Hamm carving purchased in my favorite Vancouver bookstore, Ambleside Bookbarn.

A tea booklet made by my friend, Jan, from brown lunch bags, but magnificently covered with cut papers. Tabs pull out to reveal tea bags.

Inside spread of the tea booklet by my friend, Jan.

Feng Shui crystals by Amber Spirit, Calgary. I love glass beads and gems!

My Buddha teapot (purchased in Seattle) always makes me smile.

The Buddha teapot seen from the back.

My favorite up-and-coming artist: my son drew this portrait of me at my computer when he was 8.

8 responses to “Finding inspiration: a few of my favorite things

  1. Pingback: Adding to my inspiration wire « Musings From The Studio·

  2. Pingback: New additions to my inspiration wire | Musings From The Studio·

  3. Thanks for sharing all these various works from these wonderful artists!! Being a marine biology major way back, I am kind of partial to the jellyfish!! But, my real favourite is ‘another good day!’ by the young Mr.Cote!! A great legacy by the way, that a son should have that example of loving each day and having joy in life!!

    • You are welcome! It’s my pleasure to spread the art-love on these wonderful artists. And, I have to admit my son’s drawing is one of my favorites, too! It did capture my zest for living, and I’m so glad he’s noticing. *grin*

  4. Pingback: Inspiration wire update 2015 | Musings From The Studio·

  5. Pingback: Heading into the New Year inspired | Musings From The Studio·

    • Hi James, unfortunately I can’t tell you more. I picked it up in a vintage shop in Vancouver from someone who had a lot of carvings in their store. It’s signed G. HAMM on the bottom, and a Google search some years ago turned up a George Hamm carver (that I now can’t find!). Do you know anything about him?

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