Taking Inspiration From Each Other

Contributed by Jennifer Carson

Our fellow artists are always a well of inspiration, but there are a few that I know I can always count on to get me excited to create something new. Usually it's the expression on their characters' faces that make me giggle with glee and say, I have got to create a... whatever it is! But sometimes it's the great striped bloomers or the delicate, transparent wings on a drawing of a faerie that gets my mind flowing.

One artist I have adored since my teenage years is Jody Bergsma. Her soft and detailed watercolors draw me into her paintings and tell stories that are more than color and line - more than light and shadow. The gazes of the animals peering from the painting give me goosebumps. The detailed faeries and dragons make me believe in the unimaginable.

Here is what Jody has to say about her own paintings:

I propose that mankind shares a common reality, just beyond the range of normal sight. The images are emotions, those which are unseen but felt... unheard but known. There are moments when we have acute awareness of existence... like the feeling of exultation when one stands on the edge of a mountain, or the top of a crescent moon. Each man's physical adventure is unique, but the abstract language of feelings, and our realization of existence is our shared experience. My paintings are part of my personal adventure. Memory simplifies the setting. I no longer see the mountains edge, but I do see the feelings it stirred.

Art is a tradition that helps define who we are and brings us a vision of who we can become. My painting is my expression and request for a more beautiful, peaceful and harmonious world.

I don't think anyone else could say it any better. If you don't know this prolific Washington State artist, it's time to check her out.

Another artist I always turn to is actually a married pair of artists - Pat Ann Lewis and Larry MacDougall. Though they compliment each other, these two Canadian artists have quite different styles. Larry reminds me of the great Aurthur Rackham with a bit of Brian Froud mixed in to create his own style of wonderful faerie tale images, like in this image below of Grandmother Troll. I love how she seems to grow from the tree and the fact that she is beautiful in her imperfect-ness. The lines are loose and seem to flow from the land of faerie itself.

Pat Ann's style (below) is more controlled, but no less fun. Her characters in her paintings have fantastic expression and motion, not to mention personalities that leap off the page. Whenever I need a smile and a boost of cheer, I visit Pat Ann's work.

Who do you visit when you need to be inspired?

Below are a couple more artists you might want to add to your inspiration list.

"Special Delivery"

"Moonlight Serenade"

"Take it Back"


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