Early mornings are my best opportunity to paint. The gallery opens at ten, so the hours before are quiet, and the all-to-myself space is serene. At six on a recent morning, I opened my watercolor supply drawer and grabbed a smooth, pristine sheet of 300-pound, hot press watercolor paper. The 22-inch-by-30-inch, full-size watercolor stock is perfect for my artwork; it gives the paint plenty of room to flow. As I pulled out the big piece, something small fluttered to the floor. It was a little square of paper with irregular edges. I’d forgotten all about this treasure!
Months ago, maybe years – time does slip by so quickly – I purchased tiny sheets of handmade paper. I picked up this jewel and felt the delicate, feathery boarders on this precious 4-inch-by-5-inch paper.
Instantly I was inspired. Interesting shapes and sizes can do this to me. Why paint only on the standard rectangle sheets that paper manufacturer produce? Often the first thing I do before painting is cut up that standard piece – perhaps into a long, narrow format or maybe a perfect square. Changing shapes is a great way to jazz up your day even before you begin to color mix.
On this occasion, though, the inspiration was in front of me: The paper was mini in size but humongous in potential. So ... I let the paints fly.
On the way home, after a day painting and retail at "the office," we needed a grocery pit stop if dinner was to happen. First, I picked up Mom from the senior center, and soon we were shuffling the food aisles together. I try to walk at an easy pace with Mom.
When getting groceries, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes I stumble onto something new to try. Having my 80-plus mom along has added to this what's-for-dinner inspiration.
Moseying by the shelves with tuna choices, I heard “my, my,” as Mom gazed at the litany of single-serving pouches: “lemon pepper, Mediterranean, sweet and spicy … Lordy be! I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Since that stroll down the canned fish aisle, Mom’s tuna noddle casserole has a unexpected and spicy new flavor!
What’s inspired you today?