Just a few of the things that have been inspiring me this month:
Inspiration from Nature:
At this time of year, in the northern reaches of the US, the days are grey and the winter seems endless. I make a point to have flowers in the house to inspire me with their colors and their message of hope. This bouquet is one that I photographed in my studio last year. This past month, I’ve had not only red and yellow tulips but blue hydrangea and lovely pink begonias to inspire me.
Inspiration from other Artists:
Rachel Nankivell is a photographer from New Zealand. (Make sure you hover over the images on her site, to see them in color.) She wrote to me last year to ask about my mandalas but I was so captivated by her work that I look at her site often for a dose of inspiration especially in this grey time of the year in the northern hemisphere.
When I wrote to Rachel to ask if I could share her image and her work, she offered the story behind this image, “Sanctuary”:
“In winter last year, I accompanied my mother to a Catholic Monastery, Kopua – the Southern Star Abbey, situated on a dairy farm in Takapau, Hawkes Bay. This was a place we spent time at as a family when I was a child, and later I enjoyed time there with friends, and on my own. This was my first visit in 20 years, and it was very special to return as a fully-fledged adult. The energy at Kopua is one of utter peace and stillness – it is an oasis that many people seek out for relief from the busy pace of life. I feel like the work of the monks is to hold this space for us to enter and be renewed and centred once more. I sought to make images that would reflect this “sanctuary” in our busy lives.”
All her work has that same spiritual quality.
Inspiration from Outings:
One of my birthday presents was tickets to a concert at the Stanley Theater in nearby Utica, NY this past weekend. In addition to enjoying wonderful music by Jim Brickman, I’m always inspired by this wonderful example of 1920’s architecture. I tend to want simpler architecture in my own world but it is fun to spend time in that space and appreciate the vision and the workmanship that went into creating it.
Inspiration from Music:
I love music. Having no musical abilities within my DNA, I appreciate other’s talents immensely. Most any time of any day, there is music playing where I am; in the car, working at my computer, in the shower, cooking in the kitchen. My new favorite this month is Happy by Pharrell Williams. It’s not just the music and lyrics which will get most anyone dancing in their seat, there’s also a 24 hour video of people of all sizes, shapes, abilities, and ages dancing to this upbeat tune. It’s all beautiful and incredibly infectious. (My favorite dancer is at about 9:04 am, she looks like a 21st century version of my paternal grandmother and I love the idea of her dancing like this.) There’s now a New York City version of the video as well and others around the world are being inspired to create their own Happy experience, including this one from Syracuse University. I dare you to watch and not smile!
Those are just a very few of the things that helped to inspire me this month. Remember that the word inspire comes from the Latin inspirare meaning to breathe. What’s breathing life into you lately?