Finding Inspiration for Art and Photography

Finding inspiration for art and photography is not always as easy as it seems. There has been times, where I sat in front of an empty canvas, and nothing pertinent would come for inspiration. I bet you had that feeling too, if you are making art. And that feeling is normal. I wanted to share my ways to combat this and get your creative juices flowing again.

What do you love?

Paint or draw what you love. Is it your dog, or other animal? Great! Paint or photograph your dog or animal. Is it maybe going for a bicycle ride? Splendid! Draw or take a picture with a bicycle.

You see, if you think about all the things you love, even as simple as food, you can be creative with it. If it’s food for instance, draw or paint a still life with ingredients. It’s that simple.

Other people’s art.

I love to look at other’s art and getting inspiration from artists around the world. You could go to art galleries and support your local artists by looking and getting inspiration at the same time. Or you can go on sites that sell art like https://www.saatchiart.com/  and browse hundreds of artists by style.

I went last weekend to a gallery in our city and found that spark again to take photographs and paint. This one was https://www.gallery1516.org/ in Omaha, Nebraska.

That doesn’t mean I want to copy other artists, but get inspired by different styles and endless possibilities of trying something new.

Nature.

If you love nature and are lucky enough to live where you can enjoy it, you can get inspiration from there.

Here are more tips for getting inspiration from nature: https://anikamcfarland.com/get-inspired/

Don’t worry about the finished piece.

Some of the ways to get inspired again, is to allow yourself to play again. Not every piece that you produce has to be the next masterpiece in a museum or at an auction. It’s great to have aspirations, but when it’s keeping you from producing art at all, it’s counterproductive.

Grab your supplies or camera and try something new.

Learn a new style.

Another way of getting your creative muse to show back up is taking an art or photography class in a different technique than what you are used to. That can be local, or online. There are places like https://www.udemy.com/, where you can do online courses. There are others as well, such as https://www.creativelive.com/. It just depends on which way you like best, online or in person. And if you take a class you have also opportunities to network.

Enter a competition.

Competitions can be a great way to get inspired again as well. Usually they have a topic that you create your art or photos about. That can be a wonderful way to make another piece of art or photograph. And who knows? Maybe you’ll just win something.

Summary.

There are many ways to get creative. Just pick one and get going. Keep your art supplies close, your camera ready and create!

 

Disclaimer: I do not get paid by any of the companies I posted links of in this post. There are merely companies I have used in the past myself.

 

Take time for what you love

Today I’m not just posting a painting or do another blog posts. Today I want to talk about taking time for what you love.

Time for yourself

Time is very limited, whether you are aware of it or not. We need to take care of ourselves and that also means taking time for what you love.

That is oftentimes not as easy done. We are all busy. Work, pets and/or kids play a part as well as your significant other.

Time with others

That makes it even more important to take some time for yourself. Whether it is painting like I love to do or combining your to do with your want and playing with your pets or kids or doing a date night.

I think the important part is to be fully present. Be there for the date for instance and not with your mind at work or at the next chore or endless to do list.

Put the phone aside. Close the laptop and just enjoy.

Date with yourself

See the time that you do what you love as a date with yourself. If you set a time and a date you will be less likely to not do this. Be sure to let others know about it. So you can take the time.

Clay Succulent Pots

Clay succulent pots are cute and don’t take up much space. And the added benefit is, you will never have to water or to care for these.

You can make entire clusters if you would like and they never wilt or die.

Here is how to make them:

Supplies Needed:

  • Air Dry Clay
  • Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Craft Paint
  • Varnish
  • Brushes
  • Craft Knife
  • Sand

Craft Steps:

  1. Make your cardboard templates: Draw a 1″ diameter circle and a strip that is 1 1/2″ tall by the circumference of the circle for the round pot. For the house pot make one square 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″, two rectangles that are 1 1/2″ by 2″ and then draw the 1 1/2″ by 2″ with a point for the sides.
  2. Roll out your clay about 1/4″ thick and cut out your shapes.

4. Make your ‘succulents by making the leaves and assembling them to a cluster.

5. Take your round clay pot cutouts and assemble them.

6. Leave the house clay pot disassembled until the clay is dry.

7. Let your pieces dry.

8. Assemble your house pot. Make sure to seal the edges with glue, if you plan on using sand as I did.

9. Paint and varnish your pieces.

10. Add sand into your pots and place your ‘succulents’ in them.

Notes:

There are plenty of recipes out there for making your own air dry clay. Note that most clays will shrink a little during the drying process.

It’s your turn:

Show me your Clay Succulent Pots. What were your challenges?

 

 

Paper Cherry Blossoms

I always loved cherry blossoms. It’s signaling spring time and warmer weather. This Paper Cherry Blossoms arrangement will look good anywhere.

Here is how to make it:

Supplies Needed:

  • Crepe Paper Ribbon (Pink, White, Light Green, Dark Green)
  • Wire – Thick for the branches
  • Wire – Thin for the Flowers
  • Beads
  • Glue
  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Clear Tape
  • Skewer

Craft Steps:

  1. Cut thin wires about 2 inches long and glue a bead to one end.

2. Cut two rectangles off the white ribbon and two off the pink ribbon. Then layer them and cut out your blossoms. Layer the two white ones on the bottom, then the two pink ones at the top and poke a hole with a skewer. Finally stick a few of the beaded wires you did in the first step through the center and fix with some clear tape.

3. Fix the centers of the Paper Cherry Blossoms with a dab of hot glue.

4. Take your Thick wire and cut it about 10 inches long. Then tape your flowers to the wire.

5. Cut a strip of the dark green ribbon, fix the end with craft glue and wrap around the entire thick wire.

Notes:

You can take pre-made flower centers and use those vs making your own, which saves quite a bit of time. Make sure the tape adheres well when you tape the blossoms to the thick wire. The last step can be a bit tricky, but if you cut the ribbon in about thirds lengthwise and use shorter strips you should have less of an issue with the wrapping.

It’s your turn:

Show me your creations. What were your challenges in making your own version of the Paper Cherry Blossoms?

 

Photo Challenge Week 9 Bokeh

watch my YouTube video on this challenge

This weeks photo challenge for week 9 is bokeh.

What is bokeh exactly? It’s that shallow depth of field, where the background is blurry. This is usually done to get the foreground image stand out. Often you see it with big, blurry light spots in the background.

How to Achieve Bokeh

This is achieved through the aperture setting. The lower the setting the shallower the depth of field. That doesn’t mean to use the lowest aperture setting available. You will still need to get the object in focus that you want to have stand out. And that is the point of the bokeh.

The Challenge

Often you get really that beautiful blurry background with small lights in the background. I did not have any lights available that fit the description, so I chose twigs with silver beads, that the light would reflect off. I took several different photos with different angles to find the best one.

My Aperture Setting

I chose to use an f-stop or aperture setting of 3.5 though I could have gone as low as 1.8 with the 50 mm lens I used.

Photo Challenge

I created the 52 week photo challenge at the beginning of the year. Each week there is a different topic and a different photo to be taken for practice. You can read more about the photo challenge here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

Facebook Group

For all of you who want to join in the fun and need some guidance and/or want to share your pictures, I set up a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701572876529588/

Phone Photography

I made a blog post about how to take better pictures just with your phone. Go check it out right here: https://anikamcfarland.com/phone-photography/

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. Show me your pictures. It doesn’t matter where in the challenge you are: Week one, or week ten. Just post some pictures or join the Facebook group.