Finding inspiration for my work
by Terry Johnson
(Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia )
Beach Collection - an inspiration for painting
Recently I completed a magazine interview and one of the questions asked was the one I am asked at every interview and that is “What inspires you as an artist?”
The first response that I always have is "What doesn’t"? When I sit down at the easel, sketchbook or just start picking and arranging, I am inspired.
I see colour, light, hear sounds, interact with people, glance at facebook or search the web and am always looking for a great book on art.
I look at animals, plants, people, the lay of the land and I feel the softness of the breeze or the blast of wind and, from all of these, energy flows to my senses as I begin to make an idea.
Sometimes it’s a complete idea and sometimes it is a beginning, but it really doesn’t matter because it’s a start and who knows where you will finish?
So in order to create an original idea, that goes on to become a painting, I am influenced by the endless stimuli that surround us every day.
These could be natural or man-made objects, animals and plants, light, colours, sounds, feelings, friends, family and strangers; it's a universe of ideas.
A walk to the beach, a stroll in my garden, a casual meeting with a friend, birds carolling in the distance or a sunbird twittering away to its mate as it searches for a sheltered spot to build its unusual shaped nest - all of these start the flow of ideas.
The two photos, above, that I have selected to include with my journal illustrate the development of an idea.
Once, while beach-combing with my wife, we made a finders' composition framed into squares and rectangles of driftwood. I later developed this idea into producing a series of paintings about the ocean and the trappings of nature and man that are associated with this wonderful environment.