Tag Archives: Inspire Me Thursday


This week’s theme at Inspire Me Thursday is Nervous.  It comes at the perfect time to explore this emotion, as our economy is, on the surface, unraveling before our very eyes. 

Many people are nervous about something…  Nervous about losing a job or wondering how one might actually find a job in this kind of economy.  Despite this overwhelming aura of anxiety and despair (perpetuated by the news media at large,) I cannot help feel anything but peace, hope and joy. 

As someone that has been laid off three times, I have come to understand that giving in to the worry and nervousness just isn’t worth the emotional investment.

If I do end up laid off, I’ll deal with it then.  Otherwise, I live for the moment, let the worry go, and prepare for the future with a clear mind.

The nervousness needs to be transformed or channeled into something.  To me, it translates into enjoying the many blessings that every day brings.

I’m also a firm believer in planning for the future so I invest and save so that one day, I’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Sure, my 401K’s rate of return sucks, but right now, I’m buying low so eventually I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

With every action there is a consequence and it’s no surprise to me that our economy is in the state it’s in.  Many of us live beyond our means.  But I don’t think the end of the world is coming and that it’s not impossible to arise from this chaos.  Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. 

So as someone that has a hard time identifying with nervousness at the moment, I felt compelled to accept this week’s challenge.  At first, I pondered what to create.  The interesting part is that I already drew the black lines.  They were doodled in my pastel journal, just awaiting the moment where I felt inspired to fill them with color. 

To me, the lines suggest the state that nerviness brings.  The knots in your stomach.  The fears of money in the shades of green.  Even the red heart tells us that hard times bring difficulties into relationships.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.  You can break free from the nervousness.  You just need to take a deep breath and let go of the fear and anxiety.  And take each day as it comes…

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Windows of Swirling Possibilities

rumi abstract

For this week’s creative prompt at Inspire Me Thursday, Melanie offers a poem by Rumi.  If you read it very slowly, it might call out to you, awaken your senses:

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language
- even the phrase “each other” -
do not make any sense.

Yes, this world we live in doesn’t always make sense so I drew windows of swirling possibilities, an abstract interpretation of this week’s theme.  I started to write out the poem with a portrait layout, but found myself wanting to turn the page to a landscape view when I started to begin the layers of soft pastels. Possibly an subconcious move that we need to change our perspective…in times such as these you have to ask yourself…do you turn to the grass to escape reality or to gather renewed strengthen, energy, and hope?

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Challenge yourself to take artistic leaps

This week’s theme at Illustration Friday is “Leap”, which is the perfect opportunity to share this soft pastel painting I’ve been working on the past month.

It represents a leap into experimenting. The semi-nude woman appears in a half awake dream state. The wings gently hold her as she chases butterflies, creatures of transformation and renewal, while the deep red poppies are in full bloom alluding to endless possibilities.

We must continuous challenge ourselves to evolve, to experient. As Marcel Proust once stated:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

So if you find yourself emerged in creating from comfort, challenge yourself to try a different medium or style. These experiments in time will lead to inspiration, and possibly even a new direction with your artistic path.

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A New Year of Opportunity

creative hunch

Inspire Me Thursday’s theme this week is New Year Resolutions

The new year is always the perfect opportunity to review the past year, and see what next steps we need to take to bring ourselves more inline with our overall goals. Yet, while I’m a firm believer of setting goals, I’m also think it’s just as important to listen to intuition if not more so.

Last year when I sat down to write down my goals for the year, I never would have imagined that by the end of the year I would have my artwork displayed in the Tampa Museum of Art nor I would have the opportunity to create a live painting at one of the museum’s Art after Dark events.

This past year brought many wonderful opportunities from redesigning my studio that has allowed me to finally create larger scale soft pastel paintings to opening my online Etsy store that has given me the opportunity to connect directly with art collectors near and far.

Action has MagicIn this upcoming year, as silly as it sounds, I simply desire to lock myself in my studio and create. While this image is probably what most people would envision an artist doing, it’s been a challenge for me since I’ve become active in the local art community.

As an artist that has a demanding full time job outside of the arts community, my free time is very limited. So in this next year, one of my major goals is to plan out my month in advance to set aside for creating, networking, marketing, and setting up photo shoots with local models to develop a collection of source images for paintings.

So this upcoming weekend, I’ll be locked up in my studio with pastel dust flying everywhere, but I will be out and about next Friday checking out retro|perspectives, the last Art after Dark event, at the Tampa Museum of Art before it’s scheduled closing and demolition. There will be over 50 emerging and established artists participating so you definitely won’t want to miss it if you’re in the Tampa Bay area.


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Dare to Dream: The Power of Mantra Art

When it comes to creating art, there is a time for everything, and a season for all of our creative cycles.  A time for serious paintings and a time to experiment.  A time to explore in our art journals and a time to create mantra art.

Mantra art speaks to the soul.  Like a written affirmation, it contains a message that we need to remind ourselves of every day.

So I leave you with my mantra art created for this week’s theme at Inspire Me Thursday, “Watercolor“:

mantra art

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Translating emotions into color

A fellow art blogger, Bob Martin, wrote a post the other day on how it’s difficult for him to keep his paintings simple:

It is as if I need to prove that I’ve put a lot of work into a painting in order for it to have value. Of course the value is in the ease in which the painting is able to communicate its message.

In my response, I explained how I had the opposite issue of wondering if my paintings are too simple.


But sometimes I also think that it gives them a timeless feel…something that can be enjoyed for years to come as painting fads come and go.

Take my latest painting as an example for this debate on simplistic versus complex paintings. Right now, it just has a simplistic background, one of my signature elements of style. But the other day, I was debating on maybe adding some symbols on the side of the piece. Nothing too bold. Just something to fill the empty space and create a circular flow to the painting. What do you think?

To me, each painting marks a moment in time, translating emotions into color.

Not all of my pieces will strike the same chord with everyone at an art opening. It all depends on where you are in your own life. Some pieces invoke a sense of passion and desire. Others explore the depths of pain and suffering that life can also bring.

So yes, they do hold a tremendous amount of thought in each piece even though they might come across to some viewers as simple. But with all art, there is always more behind the surface of a painting that we might never know without talking to the artist first hand.

[Submitted for this week's theme, "Dear Diary", at Inspire Me Thursday]

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