We all can experience a lack of inspiration at the easel from time to time. Inspiration can come from some of the most unexpected places. Here are a few of my favorite jump starts.
1. Virtual Travel - while traveling is inspiring, we can't always get away to the places that we most want to visit. So virtual travel can at least get the creative juices flowing. Watch a film that has beautiful scenery, watch the travel show or visit Google Earth. It can be a quick shot of inspiration for free.
2. Different Medium - Work/Experiment in a different medium. I recently picked up pastels & watercolors again. Just looking at a box of pastels opens up a world of possibilities. Here's a quick w/c sketch that I did. It was fun & no pressure. You don't have to be experienced in the medium to have fun.
3. A Palette Cue - I see artists on a daily basis that inspire me for different reasons. A favorite thing to do is, take a painting whose colors wow me & translate the palette. Example - take a still life painting & translate the palette to a landscape or figure or take a landscape & set up a still life based on the landscape palette. I learned a lot about color this way.
4. Good Friends - I'm lucky enough to have a couple of good friends/artists whom I trust to give a good honest critique. Painting can be solitary & we can get in our own way. Find someone you trust that can push you through a tough patch, talk art or just commiserate with. Sometimes just getting together with fellow artists can be inspiring.
5. Take a break - Trying to force inspiration is worst thing you can do. If the inspiration is not happening, sometimes stepping back allows our brains the quiet we need. Each time I do this, I'm always amazed at what jump starts the creativity.