19 June 2021

Inspiration Found - Color

I'm often asked what inspires me. I often laughed and say everything, which usually returns a puzzled look. When I say everything inspires me I'm not really lying. Think about that is what brought to mind the idea for a bit of a mini-series, Inspiration Found where I could go a bit more in-depth to answer the question "What inspires me?" I thought I'd kick off the series with color.

I find color inspiration in my everyday life, everywhere. My color choices are inspired the most by nature, especially colors that paint the sky. The skies in Alaska during the winter months produce some of the most amazing pale shades of blue, pink, and purple. I've learned that the pale colors I've never been able to capture on film can be captured with ink on paper.

Ink blending is a bit of a magical thing. Through this technique, I can blend the most spectacular skies, recreating some of the same striking combinations I've seen in the evening sunset or early morning sunrises. Mother Nature is an amazing artist, blending unusual color combinations to create magic.

Nature isn't my only inspiration. Curated color pallets can also be an excellent place to find unique and unusual combinations.

Finding a color pallet that has already been curated is a great way to loosen a creative block. I have a board on Pinterest that's filled with them. I use this board when I find myself in a bit of a color rut. Using a curated pallet takes the guesswork out of what colors compliment each other and work well together.

The pic on the right shows my inspiration pallet with the completed card. In this case, the color pallet came from a magazine. I added the two pops of light blue for visual interest, but the other colors came from the magazine.

Let's go beyond nature and curated color pallets, and move into everyday life. I'm an observant person, maybe too observant, but it brings a ton of inspiration to my art. Having an iPhone makes it crazy easy to capture anything I find inspiring, including color pallets. I've snapped pics of things anywhere I think I can get away with it. This practice is most prevalent when we're on vacation. Travel is very inspiring, but we'll talk about that later.

The pic on the left was snapped while shopping in a store on vacation in Hawaii a few years ago. Just look at all those amazing colors in one shot. There's tons of inspiration to be drawn from just one photo.

Color is a very inspiring thing for many artists. It can set a mood, evoke a feeling, and share an experience with a viewer.

Color enhances reactions in everyone and in many cultures each color carries a specific meaning. Think about it, how many times have your emotions been moved because of the colors used in art, advertising, decor, or even food?

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