Week 36 - Muse

I just really allowed my muse to be my guide and I just go with whatever I'm feeling.

K. D. Lang

Have you ever experienced a sudden surge of inspiration that seems to come out of nowhere? That feeling of being in the zone, where ideas flow effortlessly and creativity knows no bounds? That, my friend, is what we call finding your muse.


What is a Muse?

A muse is a source of inspiration, a guiding force that sparks creativity and fuels artistic expression. It can be a person, a place, or even a state of mind. For many artists, finding their muse is an essential part of the creative process.

My muse has returned, her name is Lily. I have missed my muse since the passing of my previous one, Grady, last year. Without him, I felt adrift. But now, the energy has returned, and I no longer find myself alone in the studio.

Lily, a natural in the studio. I'm just conscious of not dripping paint on her!

Lily has a way of grounding me, of forcing me to slow down. Her puppiness has a calming effect. She reminds me to find beauty in the mundane, to embrace the present moment, and to let go of the pressures and expectations that often accompany the creative process.


How Autumn Affects My Mood and Paintings

Autumn, with its vibrant colors and crisp air, has long been a favourite season of mine. There is something magical about the way autumn affects my mood. The air is clearer, the landscape is richer, warmer. The colours on my palette are bolder, my brushstrokes become more confident. Even though we're approaching the end of the year, it seems like a new beginning to me. A reboot of sorts. The loosy-goosiness of summer is over. I always think of the smell of freshly sharpened pencils in September. A back to school thing, and the start of new possibilities. 


Experimenting with different types of Gouache

Trying out my new Holbein Acrylic Gouache paints at Dublin Shore Government Wharf. I really enjoyed painting with them, even though it was a hot, windy day and the paints dried quickly on the palette and painting surface.

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with different mediums this year while out plein air painting. I started using Designer gouache, which I love working with. I've also leaned into using other mixed media with it, ink, colour pencil. This paint is very freeing and fun to use. The only downside is the finished work needs to be presented under glass. A small price to pay. I think larger gouache/mixed media works will be on the menu this winter in my studio.

I've also tried Acrylic gouache. This paint has the same matte finish and opaqueness that I love in traditional Designer gouache, but it acts like acrylic paint. When the paint dries you can't reconstitute it with water as you can with Designer gouache. The upside is that the final painting doesn't need to be framed under glass. Always a plus.

It's always fun to experiment with something new, to open up your creative spirit, get into that place of experimentation and step into the unknown.


Slowing Down and Giving In to Your Muse

So, if you're feeling stuck in a creative rut, perhaps it's time to slow down and give in to your muse. Take a walk in nature, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of autumn, and let the colors and warmth seep into your soul. And who knows, maybe your muse will come along and become your source of inspiration, just like mine did.


Until next week... 


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