Tag Archive for artistic inspiration

Hooked on Pinterest – Eye Candy for an Artist’s Soul

Beaded Meditation Art Quilt by Nancy SmeltzerNancy Smeltzer, MFA

When I first started this blog 1 1/2 years ago, I was looking at the various social media platforms that were out there to promote my writings and my art work. One that kept being suggested was Pinterest . To be honest, at the time, all I was seeing were pages with photos of recipes, wedding plans and things that people were wanting buy, and the commercialism really turned me off. However, since that time, a lot of artists and other creative folks are posting some amazing photos of their works, and I must confess that I’m hooked.

After registering, you start creating boards with different themes, so one of the first that I made was of my Meditation Art quilts. This piece that I did for my friend, Keith Allen Kay, who does amazing energy mandalas. I tap into the person’s energy and “see” what the garden would look like where they would meditate and play. This board is all of my own work.

However, most of the other boards are a mixture of my own work and those of others. When you see a photo on someone else’s board, you can pin it to yours, thus creating a collection of whatever the theme that board is about. One such board  I call “Spiral Shapes”.

"Shattered" - a Spiral Mosaic by Kathy ThadenHere is a really cool mosaic by Kathy Thadden called “Shattered“. She uses a diverse collection of materials to create the lovely composition from a geode in the center, spiraling out to shell casing, and corks. The craftsmanship in the construction of the piece contributes to the crispness of the lines as they lead the eye outwards form the center. This photo is just one of many that I have on my “Spiral Shapes” board.

"Feather Dusters" - by David FleethamOne of my larger boards is one I call “Dramatic Nature“. This recent addition to that collection is this beautiful underwater photo called “Feather Dusters” by David Fleetham. The composition certainly fits the title of my board in that the dramatic swirling of the soft “feathery” creatures down the center of the piece balance out the hard coral on the right. The purple coral in the upper left couldn’t have been more balanced with the lavender centers of the white creatures. I imagine that this gorgeous photo was just one small piece of the reef that it was on, but what a beautiful “freeze frame” of undersea life that I will never get to see in person. I could so see this photo being worked up in textile techniques!

So, Pinterest has become a daily “fix” for my artistic need for color, texture, shape, and composition. Some of the pieces are so beautiful and intriguing, that my shamanic sensibilities, called “wolf awareness” kick in. That’s when my sense are do heightened that it’s almost as if I’m devouring color. It’s great, good fun to be in that State of Being, and totally legal, I might add.

 What is your favorite source(s) for inspiration? Do you use what you experience directly in your resulting art, or as a springboard to get you creating?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form below or by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!… and PLEASE tell like minded souls about this blog! The more readers and contributors, the more I write because encouragement helps the words flow!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), my spiritual healing work at www.transitionportals.com and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals) Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies),  and Twitter.

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.

Being an Artistic Tourist – Lines and Shadows

Each artist has their own unique way of viewing the world. For me, sometimes it’s a visual image that gets my “need” to create flowing. Other times, it’s a phrase or concept that inspires me. I love it when connections are made between both realms in my mind. Today’s posting is about a happy intersection that happened recently.

Some time in the past few days, I read the phrase “artistic tourist”, and I wish I could remember who said it so that I could credit her. The concept, or at least the way it came across for me, was to be a tourist in your own environs. I interpreted it to mean we should look at familiar things with “baby fresh” eyes, and see what’s around us in new ways.

The second half of this connection between the written and the visual realms for me was seeing this photo of shadows on the snow by my friend, Robert Vibert…


He’s a fantastic photographer who really has an eye for the atmospheric qualities of light in his pics. He’s also brilliant seeing things that others don’t see. Add to that the fact that he’s also the dear soul who helps me with the technical details to keep this blog up and running, so I count him as part of my Heart Tribe. What I honed in on in this stark photo was the dark lines in the snow with the hint of what had made them at the top of the photo. (“Things half hidden” will be the topic of an upcoming blog.) So, I began looking at lines and things around my house, and the edict came from within….”Go forth and take pictures and give my readers some insight as to how I see things.” Here’s what happened along those lines, in the order that it came to me.

I began wandering around the house, trying to look for something simple that had to do with lines. I came across a brass match holder. The long, thin sticks of wood contained lots of lines but  getting them to spill outwards and separate so that they would show up as individual elements was difficult. (On retrospect, I guess I could have put something in the holder to separate them, but hindsight is so intensely accurate!) However, as I turned to the opposite side of the room, there was a bottle of scent diffuser, with lots of splayed lines made by the wicks. “Perfect item to add to the shoot”, I thought. Then, as I was carrying them both upstairs to get better light for the photograph, I saw sitting on a bureau downstairs, a wire wine bottle holder that begged to be included in the composition. I sat all three in front of a sunny window and the results are in the above photo.

As I was taking that first photo, I happened to look outside and saw the view in the photo on the left. “Cool!” I thought, “more lines and shadows”. I braved the cold and went outside and quickly captured this photo. I liked the way the weathered boards, the “window frame” plant holders that I put on the wall of the garage to resemble an outdoor room, and the shadows, both curved and straight cast by the various metal pieces on the frame combined in this pic. Not quite as stark a contrast as Robert’s inspirational photo, but I liked the result.

I hurried back inside and then, as I looked around my house for some more lines, I wandered into my big bathroom. Years ago, I had painted a mural on the wall of an outdoor scene, and I thought the metal candle holder frame in the corner of the tub contrasted nicely with the stenciled gates I had added to the woodland scene.

There weren’t any shadows in the bathroom, but I was thinking lines compared to other lines at this point. (My thinking, in case you hadn’t noticed, when I’m in this artistic flow, is not always consistent or linear, as I let my ideas go where they will.)

I took the bathroom photo, and then wandered out into the dining room and saw lots of shadows on the wall created by potted plants that are overwintering in a southern window. However, most of the shadows weren’t particularly linear so I began looking around for something to shoot in front of the white wall. I picked up a metal sculpture of palm leaves that I liked.

I set up the camera and shot what is my favorite pic from this two hour photo shoot. The thickened midribs of the palm leaves become quite linear as they extend to the outside of the frond. Then the mid-ground of the outline of the chair backs is a nice blur of soft lines. Finally, the background has subtle suggestions of lines from the aforementioned plants. I haven’t yet learned to see all the possibilities of composition in a prospective shot unless I look through the lens of the camera and see it boxed in for me. So for me, this was a happy accident of composition. I feel, it came about because I was allowing myself to play and just let my artistic sensibilities free rein.

This posting is the first in what I hope will be a series of postings on being an artistic tourist in my own environs. More thoughts will appear as I get the photos to support the story. How I’ll use them in my own arena of art quilts, I don’t know yet,  but I find that I often find more inspiration in other media than in my own. I know that I’ll be looking at things with a new eye and perhaps you’ll see some of the above photos included in future art quilts… or not.

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this piece. The registration form is just to prevent spammers, not to collect any of your information, so please take a minute, fill it out, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, especially when it comes to your own special way of viewing thiings. So why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.