Inspiration: First of a Series

Inspiration is a word that gets tossed around by creative types and those who critique them. I recently had a discussion among friends about the difference between inspiration and imitation. I believe the difference is clear; others seem to have no problem imitating in the name of inspiration.

I am inspired by many things, most of them not even visual. But my ideas of art and design and color and light all come from one ultimate source: my mom. Hers was a passive inspiration. She introduced me to art by leaving her books lying around, her paintings on every surface, and by muttering her artistic process out loud. She still does that.

There were certain artists that I was drawn to as a child who I love still today. I’ve decided to work on a series of photos inspired by these artists. And I’ve put my mom on this list as well. While she may drive me bonkers in pretty much every way, her art remains an inspiration.

Georgia O’Keeffe photographed by Alfred Stieglitz 1918

Georgia O’Keeffe has always been at the top of my list of favorite artists. And while her paintings are beautiful and complex, it’s her life that fascinates me even more. Her life stories add depth and richness to her work. If you don’t know her story, go find it. She was a passionate woman who lived a life defined by herself and no one else.

Her paintings are known for their feminine symbolism, but it is the quiet strength within them that inspires me. There is a stark beauty in her work that makes me truly feel the desert that inspired her.

I hope to never imitate the artists who inspire me, but rather pay tribute to them by incorporating their ideas into my own viewpoint. That, to me, is the difference between inspiration and imitation. I don’t wish to create an “O’Keeffe” knockoff,  I want to bring my own story and flavor it with her use of color, light, soft strength and symbolism. I will never be a hundredth the artist that O’Keeffe was, but I’m happy to have the resources to pay homage to her inspiration.

by Whiskey Monday


(click the pic for bigger and better)

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