While I was away at the retreat, I also tried to get a little inspired by my surrounding. Marlborough Sounds is a beautiful place, especially the tiny inlets on crystal clear mornings or the surrounding hills overlapping and producing delicate gradation that look like your value study homework. Last weekend's weather was average, and I found the writers and their stories far more inspiring, to the point I was designing scarves that may look good on a character, or a ruana that may suit in a place in a story.
I know artists the world over have been inspired by nature and their environment, and in New Zealand, this is a very important factor in art-making. And I do like the odd leaf or rock or the seascape, and I take copious amounts of sunset photos, but to be honest, I have to force myself to connect what I see there with what I make, and I feel like a fraud when friends say things like, "Oh, I see the waves."
Well, let me tell you that I get very inspired by architecture and people and voices and stories. I grew up in the city and I am still a city kid. So every once in a while I have to remind myself that it's OK if I don't hyperventilate at a bird or mountain, because I do get excited by a 2-inch human-interest story, or the voice of an former East European correspondent, for example, and start drawing on my sketchbook right away.
I'm sure I'll be reiterating this point again, as I have to keep reminding myself.
(By the way, the subject in this photo was one of the two non-writing participants at the workshop, so I think I'm supposed to declare the photo and the post are not related, or something...)