Creativity and Inspiration

I suppose you are either creative or you are not but our creativity can be enhanced by that which we see and experience. The creativity of others is often a great source of inspiration. There is so much working together in our minds before we even put paint onto canvas; events in our lives, things we have seen, images and colours and the imagination and works of others. It is at this point that I feel the need to give credit where credit is due. Last year the majority of my artworks were inspired by the photos of a friend, a missionary in Kenya, Grant Swanepoel. With his permission I have interpreted his images and produced many of the works you have seen on this website. I am grateful for the use of these images and the inspiration they have been and as I now use my own source material I will always remember the help his photos were to me. This is an example of his work. To view more of his special photographs and to buy prints click HERE.

I must also mention another influence. I don’t believe that as artists we should try to become carbon copies of other artists or great masters because we are who we are and cannot be anything else. I want to learn from others yet at the same time be true to myself. I want to work intelligently and in an informed manner but not according to trends or fads or just to be a “copy cat” who does not believe they have anything fresh to offer. Yet there is indeed much to be learnt from those who have gone before and I discovered this when I first started to try portraits. I was drawn to faces but doubted I had talent enough to do them justice and so it seemed until it was suggested to me that I should try to copy a famous portrait. I choose, “The Girl with the Pearl Earring”, by Vermeer and a whole new world opened up to me. I spent ages just looking at that painting before I even started, noting subtle marks, shadows and highlights, determined to learn as much as I could. This is my copy which now hangs in my studio. I have no idea where my painting journey will take me and what fresh things I will discover but this painting will always be a reminder of where it really began for me.

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