I stay inspired by surrounding myself with artwork created by other artists. Some pieces I find in my travels, others I come across because I know the artist personally, and others have arrived as a gift extended to me through connections I have made with artists through social media and Etsy.
I keep these pieces in plain view in my studio on my “inspiration wire”, right over my desk. It’s an idea I originally got from Kari Chapin, an artist and author of “The Handmade Marketplace”.
I have recently updated my wire and want to share these lovely art pieces — and their creators — with you. You can read about the last time I updated my “inspiration wire”, and the story behind this great revolving concept, in my blog here.
The first piece is a greeting card I picked up of a painting done by Vancouver artist Rae Mate called “You Are My Sunshine”.
The next is a piece from a printmaker I love. I found Lisa Toth on Etsy. She has a wonderful style and works primarily in woodcuts. I found this little rabbit of hers, and had to have one for myself!
I’ve been lucky recently to have a number of pieces arrive by “snail mail”. The first came from Joan Gregory (who I recently had a mixed media play date with). The card Joan mailed to me was a reproduction of a nuthatch woodblock print by Lisa Hooper, and it arrived in the most lovely handmade envelope. Joan certainly knows how to package mail!
The envelope deserves a showing as well!
I recently also received a card from a friend named Dawn who had been my pen pal when I was in elementary school. She and I reconnected recently, and I had sent her my “Pond Hockey” print, knowing her dad used to play semi-professional hockey. The thank you card she sent was a lovely trio of chickadees by artist Sarah Angst — one of my favorite birds!
Another cool creation came by way of one of my printmaker friends, Heather Smith of Cosmikgoo. She mailed me a wonderful card by Walter Anderson, an artist I hadn’t seen before. I love being introduced to new artists!
A real treat recently was a trade done with an artist who lives in Wetherby, England. Maggie Goodwin saw my moose card on Instagram and loved it. I offered to mail her one, and she returned the favor with this sweet etching of a rooster. What a delight to get in the mail!
My next-to-last piece is a wonderful lino print by an artist and printmaker I admire: Coco Berkman of Stage Fort Press. My husband gives me the gift of art at Christmas, and I “help” him select by providing a list of many favorite pieces on Etsy. From that list, he chooses one (or two!) and puts them under the tree. This year, this print “Mom and Kids” by Coco was one of two prints I received. Having spent the last 23 years as a mom myself, this one struck a chord!
And, so, on the subject of children, if you look closely at the photos of my inspiration wire, my own children’s art is there, too. I love the pieces my kids create. They are so free and without boundaries. They have a great innocence, and always tons of color. This last one, is my nine-year-old’s portrait of snowmen, and the colors pop off my wall. Makes me smile every time I see it. Which is, after all, what an inspiration wire is all about.