I’m often asked by customers where do I find my inspiration for my work and I always struggle with giving a simple answer because the truth is it is complex in it’s simplicity.
Find Inspiration in the Simple Things You Love
For me, it is all about the being and exploring. Like going exploring in a Tasmanian National Park and being still as I take time to soak up a view, or taking a night off and reading a novel in a favourite chair accompanied by chocolate and red wine, having a massage followed by a hot bath (and probably again with the chocolate and red wine – a girl has to maintain those curves!), or even getting along to a much anticipated session about wonderful water colour paints that lift your heart and make you feel like you’re part of a supportive creative community in a big city.
Being Inspired by Daniel Smith Watercolours
This is exactly what I did when I had the opportunity to get along to a Daniel Smith presentation at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre when the owner, John Cogley, put on a wonderful afternoon in a creative collaboration with Parker’s Art Supplies.
I had a ball of a time there, getting to play with over 40 of their delicious water colour paints, some even made from gemstones like amethyst, tiger’s eye and turquoise!
Watercolour Paints Inspiring a Jewellery Range
It’s no secret that I love Daniel Smith watercolours and I discovered them only recently with my first foray with their Indanthrone Blue – the colour I used to paint many of my Australian wildlife designs that include the koalas, kangaroo, platypus and wombats.
But now I’m having a full blown love affair with them. I drool over the Daniel Smith Watercolour Chart and plan my painting budget around opportunities to add to my collection of them.
I’m finding their dot sheets way too tempting as they simply do their job of encouraging me to explore and play with the paints all too well, making me fall in love with even more colours.
And this went a bit nuts at the play session, they gave us blank sheets of top quality watercolour paper and came round with wonderful colours, adding dots of paint to the sheets for us to experiment with…
The Painting Setup
I got to experiment with over 40 colours, most I hadn’t tried before and all I fell in love with. The setup was very simple, a series of tables had sheets of paper with pencil and paint brush along side cups of water. We had dots of paint dabbed on the sheets, told their name and were left to play. I’ll confess mine was one of the messier examples, most were fairly neat and structured while I made squiggles and dropped water in to see how the granulation worked.
There was a lot of chatter and banter along the tables with ideas and suggestions shared about techniques and colour combinations. I must admit, I was on a bit of a creative high with all of this colour play and getting to share it with like minded creatives.
Be Inspired by Artists
So for me for me to get to have an afternoon playing with Daniel Smith paints, asking questions of the owner and sharing my love for the watercolours with others was heaps of fun and, naturally enough, really inspiring.
Simply doing things that light you up creatively is a great way to find inspiration. Sharing that experience with others is another way to delve into the well of inspiration.
I often spend way too much time exploring the YouTube videos, websites and books of artists who use Daniel Smith watercolours too, like talented Australian artist Amanda Hyatt, English woman Jean Haines, and American watercolorists Gina Rossi Armfield and Brenda Swenson.
It was watercolourist Mel Hills who introduced me to Daniel Smith with her light filled views of wild Tasmania who I met at the Tasmanian Craft Fair. I was instantly captivated by her large watercolour landscape paintings and brought home a bundle of her prints and cards. I’ve learnt a lot from Mel about watercolour painting and find her constantly amazingly generous as she shares her passion and inspiration for painting and Tasmania with me.
There isn’t one simple way of finding inspiration. It is in the doing of things that lift your spirits, brighten your soul and bring you joy.
Passion vs Promotion
Sadly, this ranting rave of mine about Daniel Smith paints is completely free promotion for this US based organisation, there’s no payment in any form from them to me, but as it turns out from the team at Parker’s, it’s quite normal for Daniel Smith customers to be full on advocates for them!
So having said that, if Daniel Smith ever feel the need to send me a bundle of paints to explore then I’d gladly welcome the opportunity! I think any painter would 🙂