So unfortunately I don’t have much advice to give on how to find inspiration. Whenever I’m walking around I keep my eyes open. This might be a short walk close to my cabin in Manning Park, or a walk in New Westminster key, the location really isn’t important. I’m looking for shapes and shadows that catch my interest. I got into the habit of doing this when I was practicing photography. The subject doesn’t matter, it’s the way it goes together. I try to carry a camera almost everywhere I go so if I see something interesting I’m ready. This is a lot easier now that cell phones have cameras. I’m a little old school since I don’t have a cell phone.
Recently I was walking around Burnaby Lake with my sister and saw an owl sitting on a branch. Actually a bunch of other people saw it first and we came upon them with all their camera gear and spotting scopes set up. I had my little camera with me and took a bunch of pictures. I might have taken 40. Since they are digital it doesn’t cost anything and I’m taking a collage and putting them together later in Photoshop. I think the owl is a barred owl. If I use it I’ll need to find some additional images to fill in the eyes and add more detail to the feathers. The background is also a little busy but I like the branches.
Carrying a camera can be a two edged sword. Eventually your significant other is likely going to find it annoying. I try to be quick but it’s a balancing act.
Most of my paintings start out this way. Whenever I’m looking for a new image to paint I go through the pictures I’ve taken or picked up off the Internet and I take the opportunity to prune my collection of images that I don’t think I will ever use. This collection of images is likely the closest thing to finding inspiration that I have. When I picked an image for the collection, something about it attracted me. I might not remember what that something was and I might not feel the same today; in which case I will likely toss it out. I use this collection of images regularly and add to it constantly. The Internet is a wonderful tool for this. Every time I have an idea I search for images on the Internet. The idea might have come from a picture I took or a place I’ve been. Most of the things I find on the Internet I can’t use but sometimes I find a gem and that often leads to other things and eventually I have a painting.