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  • Writer's pictureJ Susan Aitken


Happy almost St. Patrick's Day! I don't have big plans for the wee holiday, but I am planning to try making corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot and I do have a recipe for Irish soda bread. So there you go. Oh, and I will try to remember to wear green. And I'm not even Irish.

Some Thoughts about Inspiration

People will often ask artists what gave them the idea for their artwork. This differs from artist to artist, and even from painting to painting. If you go to a painting on my website and click on it, there is something written about it in terms of why I painted it, what inspired it. Sometimes it's interesting, sometimes the painting just stands alone as a design. For example, the last painting Hooked on Flowers, is simply a design. I suppose there is indirect inspiration all around me - but I did not wake up and say, "I will create a hook-like shape cradling a flower." As I drew, it evolved.

Other paintings have more direct connections to my personal experiences and are more intentional. For example, Tranquil Garden is inspired by a sweet statue I encountered in the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Tulsa; I love African Violets and grow them all around my kitchen sink area - hence, the painting African Violet; Lily was painted to represent the beauty of the lilies we grow in our garden pond in the summer. It goes like that. Sometimes it's an idea growing out of something else. For example, I had so much fun painting the little girl statue, I looked around for other statues and the idea of the gargoyles popped up. And Frogoyle: Escape from Washington Cathedral was born. And so it goes.

Occasionally, there is more than one connection to a painting. If you click on Lily of the Valley, it says that it reminds me of the Lily of the Valley patch in my yard growing up. This is true, but it was also inspired by a stained glass window from the church where I was married and you can see it in this old wedding photo- a very personal connection. Kind of fun, right?

Just for a smile..

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