I previously wrote about one of my inspiration walls, but inspiration changes and I thought I would write about who is currently inspiring me. And there’s a message from the past that has lingered in my mind since 1996, a message from my grandmother that she wrote on a calendar, encouraging me to paint happy paintings. Norman Rockwell is one of the best for capturing facial expressions. For years, I’ve wanted whimsy in my art, and playfulness and joy, and I was on the right track when I painted the small watercolors.
But now I want to share some of the work of four women who have made a life and work for themselves centered around their art. First is Mary Engelbreit. She’s the queen of cute. And of color. And she built an empire based on her art. I have some old issues of her magazine “Home Companion” that have re-entered my life with new interest.
Next in line: Tasha Tudor. She also built a name for herself and published many books and Christmas cards using her designs. Her guiding credo was this quote by Thoreau: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”.
She lived an interesting life and her life became her art. The animals and children in her illustrations were inspired by the animals on her farm and her own children and grandchildren. And she was an avid gardener.
Tasha Tudor is one of my favorites when I’m looking for nostalgia and quaint, old-fashion settings. Who couldn’t find magic in a birthday cake and candles floating down the creek to the delight of children and adults!
Next in line: Susan Branch. I thought I had discovered her art for the first time in 2013 until I found among my idea files a page she illustrated in 1988 from Country Living magazine. I bought her book last year called “A Fine Romance – Falling in Love with the English Countryside”. Here’s one of the pages from her book with hand-lettering and small watercolors. This book is a handwritten and watercolored
diary of her “two month ramble through the quaint villages and misty country backroads of England. Ramble is such a perfect word…
Well, I would like to continue with this post (which I started 10 days ago, but I am having technical difficulties. Wordpress has re-designed my blog work page and I need to figure out how to upload more pictures and how to add tags and where to find everything….
I am busy. There’s tons of inspiration. But now, the hard part. I am attempting to find MY VOICE in all the visuals and words I’ve looked at and read and admired over the years. MY VOICE is calling to me….