Thursday, March 29, 2012

INSPIRATION a few thoughts on the subject

 I can find inspiration to paint a whole painting by just seeing this...

Inspiration....We all know the feeling in many aspects of our lives. In many ways it is what drives us to do the things we do. Whether it be for our family, faith, personal satisfaction or our creative side it is a very powerful feeling. Something deep inside our minds throws a switch and we are compelled to act in one way or another.....the proper definition can be found in many dictionaries but they all lack the "Pizazz" of what the word means.   

a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.

Today in this little blog post I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subject with you. As an artist, this word comes up in my everyday life very very often (along with the verb..inspire). I don't know how many times I get asked "What is your inspiration for your work?" or "What artists inspire you?" and lately "What ever inspired you to paint a huge House Fly?"...the list can go on and on. The version of the word that means the most to me, the one I strive for is the "Seeing your work inspires me to paint" or "I used to paint but gave it up but after seeing your work I am inspired to get some supplies and start again."..... That to me is the ultimate compliment. When one can move someone enough to even get them to think about being creative is the best currency life has to offer. 

Last Thursday I had my first art show, a small affair, but a grand one also! As I was hanging out visiting with patrons of the show, I noticed someone walk in the door that I had not seen for over 20 years. I smiled. and walked over with open arms to embrace a friend of mine I had known since 6th grade. We where part of the art nerds throughout our schooling. You know, the kids who practically lived in the art room. We had lost touch since our graduation in 1989 and in the past year or so found each other on the facebook machine. He had been following my artist page, but never really commented or "like buttoned" anything. All of a sudden he is standing in front of me at my show after making the 1 hour drive. We caught up a bit, and he said to me "I had to come see your work with my own eyes, since seeing your art on facebook it has inspired me to start painting again." "So I went out and bought some materials and am in the process of re-discovering something that used to be so important to me...Thank you Lance!" Needless to say I about cried!.....That to me is why I do what I do!!! In that same hour or so later another childhood\family friend walked through the door. One, who I just lately,  have had the chance to spend a little time with. He was never an artist but has thoughts and ideas that he wants to learn to paint....He has stated to me many times that seeing my work and knowing me has inspired him to learn a whole new hobby. I told both of them that my studio and talent is available for them at anytime. I will teach, mentor or do whatever it takes to help out someone who wants to create! It humbles me to do something that inspires other to release their creative side. It brings a joyful tear to my eyes to know that what I do can move people! it is the best feeling in the world. 

I find my inspiration by accident most of the time. A Wasp buzzing around my back door and me thinking. "What a beautiful creature, I want to capture that in oils." or something as simple as me walking into my studio and looking at my paint collection and seeing the color on a tube of paint. Looking at other artists work online will provoke my mind to go paint in a very strong way and it is like a drug! The voice inside my head trying to feed its addiction to creating something with simple tools. If I catch the scent of linseed oil, my mind hits overdrive. I can be at an art store next to the oils and if I smell linseed oil floating through the air....I have to go home and paint! I will sit some nights and page through my big BLICK catalog, staring at each companies paint swatches and it drives me....I can plan whole paintings by just seeing one color. 

Inspiration feeds inspiration...that is one lesson that I have learned. The more I give in to it the more it feeds me. If I dwell on it for a while, ponder it with out taking action right away, it grows! It will only subside when I start to create the piece that feed from that particular inspiration. So I have layers and layers of inspired visions in my mind and can only move on with them as I finish each painting.  It is like a huge pile on bookwork sitting on you desk at work that you know you need to do but can only do so much at a time. You have your boss (inspiration in this case) screaming at you to get it all done. The pile never is never ending. Once you get one done 3 more folders get thrown on your desk. It can be maddening. It can drive you crazy! As an artist though, You never want that pile to go away. You want fresh work to do forever! I get frustrated sometimes cause I have so many ideas and plans that I feel I dont have the time to complete them all. They are all screaming at me to become reality. They haunt me in my sleep and most of my waking hours. I am fine with that for sure! It is a small price to pay for sharing color and life with others.

On the topic of inspiration and who inspired and inspires me to this day I would like to mention some of the folks who have had a huge impact on my artistic life. It would not be complete with out mentioning my Mother who is an artist and has pushed me every day of my life to create. My Great Grandfather Peter Yback who guides my hand from the spirit world and was the first to really show me how wonderful creation of art can be. Two teachers from my youth...Cal Schultz, my Jr. High art teacher and Don Durfee, my High School art teacher. They gave me the chance to express myself and helped guide me and many others to find a love for art and the creation of art. Good teachers can change you in ways that will last a lifetime. Mr. Durfee (or Durf as everyone calls him) taught me the skills and the early training to be able to do what I do today. He inspired so many folks to be whatever they wanted in life through his teaching style and cool attitude and personality. He always made this nerdy, skinny kid feel special and I will never forget that! Thanks Durf!!!! 

Thanks for reading my thoughts today....I could go on forever about inspiration and such. I just wanted to get some things out of my mind to make room for more painting ideas....hehehehe Please take some time and leave me some comments about inspiration and what may inspire you.....I really want to know!!!!
Peace and Love to you all........not get off your computer and go paint!!! 


  1. Get outta my head! Hahaha ;) Loved seeing your thoughts! They are eloquent and so true... :)

    1. Thanks you so much for taking the time to read the words I have written....Peace and love to you