Inspiration to Generation

February 18th, 2008

Oh, how lovely it is to feel like a human being again today (instead of the flu-ridden zombie I've been.) I'm not all better, but I'm no longer feverish and achey and miserable. Being able to get up and do things without collapsing in exhaustion after 10 minutes is so nice. Ahhh, health. This cough is still a pain in my bum, but it will pass soon.

I've been missing posting and visiting all of you CED-ers. I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed by things that need catching up on as I'm not 100% yet and I don't want to wear myself out. I am feeling incredibly grateful for my wonderful hubster who as soon as he felt better (he had the flu before me) was the best caretaker ever. After getting home from work and all weekend he brought me tea with honey, homemade soup, tylenols, tissues, and hugs and did the dishes too. My hero.

I managed to stay creative while feeling ill by sketching in my sketchbook. I had some fun ideas which may become future paintings. As I posted earlier, I also carved up and tried out a bird stamp. I don't always know where my inspiration comes from, but I happen to know exactly where the idea for the bird stamp came from, so I thought it would be fun to share the progression from idea to end product. I think we all have ideas thoughout our day or we see little inspirations that we may or may not do something with. Sometimes, we don't get the idea down on paper and we forget, sometimes we are afraid to try out our idea, and sometimes we push our ideas away thinking they're silly. But following a bit of inspiration and moving from idea to action is a wonderful thing. As much as you can, try bringing your ideas to life. They're what make you who you are and the world will be missing out if you ignore them.

So, the initial idea for the stamp began when I was working on some "Subway Stories" paintings. I was doing something simple that didn't require a lot of thought, like putting gesso on a panel or sealing collage papers. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a book across the room. In that split second, I saw what looked like a stylized bird printed on the spine of that book. Then my eyes re-focused and I saw that it wasn't a bird, but just the leaf pattern you see below.


I immediately grabbed my sketchbook and drew a quickie sketch of the bird image I saw. And while waiting for some other things to dry, I drew the bird in pencil on a blue piece of paper.


I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the bird at this point, but I liked the idea of a strong graphic image. A couple days later, I was thinking about it and I thought it would make a cool stamp. And then I remembered that I had a small carving block that I'd bought months ago thinking I'd like to make my own stamps sometime. I drew over the sketch with fresh pencil and put it face down on the carving block and rubbed the back which transferred the design (much to my delight). I thought I had a carving tool among my art supplies, but couldn't find one anywhere. So I looked for an alternative tool and I found an old clay tool that would do the job. I wouldn't necessarily recommend using this tool as it wasn't easy, but if you're stuck at home sick and you don't want to wait, then hey, it worked! The top of the tool broke off the handle while I worked (as it wasn't made for this sort of activity), so I included the top of the tool along with the carving block in the picture below.


Sorry, it's a little blurry. Anyways, it was fun to carve. And then, I've posted this picture already, but this is where I tried out the stamp in my sketchbook:


So, there you go. A small example of a flash of inspiration and where it took me. Ideas are often more complicated and hard to explain, but this one was pretty straight forward.

I'll be hanging up some artwork at a coffee shop in a week, so I've got lots of prep work to do and I've got some other things to share, but that's enough from me for today.

Happy creating!


13 Responses


This is a wonderful post with some great information about your process. I think it is often quite difficult to find blogs where artist are willing to talk about their creative and physical process. I have never carved a stamp, but you make it looks very interesting. It is a great design, too. You had mentioned earlier how it reminded you of Sesame Street. That made me smile…I didn’t grow up with SS as I am too old! :) It actually made me think of my grandmother who had some fabric with a similar design on it. Thank you for reminding me.

It is great to hear you are feeling better. It seems to take so long to get over something like the flu. I am so sorry you have had to deal with it this year.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. It was a pleasure to hav you there.

I’m glad you are feeling better, too! I love how you took a random piece of daily life and transformed it into your delightful stamp! The bird is adorable-it would make a great focal point for a future painting as well :)

Glad your feeling better! Inspiration is everywhere.
Such a great idea coming from your eyes not being focused at first glance.

Have a Blessed Happy Fun Creative Healthy Year!!!

Sorry this is just a TCB comment as I scurry about doing this. I’ve created a separate blog for my CED posts. Would you please plese change it on your side bar when you have a moment. I am shown there as Maryellen. Thanks so much


Now that’s creative!! The clever part was doing something about your idea not just thinking, “Oh silly me I thought it was a bird”.

Glad you’re feeling better. When I first saw the title of this post, I thought it meant you were inspiring a whole generation…because you’re doing that, too! ;) Nice to see your process at work. The sign of a ‘true artist?’ When it’s WHAT YOU DO…no matter HOW YOU FEEL. ;) xoxo

i am loving that pattern. you are amazing!!

I’m glad you’re feeling better. I had that nasty flu bug earlier and it’s no fun.

Thanks for sharing a little of your creative process. For years I had ideas but I didn’t pay attention to them, never wrote them down or sketched anything until finally one day I picked up a pencil and just had to draw something….and I haven’t quit since then. Ideas come to me in some of the strangest ways but now I pay attention to them.

i am happy to hear that you are on the mend!

and so glad that you shared this story…
very inspiring with lovely results!

I just love people of vision – thanks for sharing yours! I’d love to join Creative Every Day…please let me know what I need to do to participate!

I would like to join your Creative Everyday 2008 – I am a poet, and write and perform. I will be performing in the Rogue Festival in Fresno CA in 7 days. It is so exciting to be a part of a performing group of artists! Found you through 37 Days – isn’t she fabulous?

No need to visit… You’ll find time when you’re feeling better — which I hope is soon! I love seeing what you are creating. It’s inspiring! Like you, I’ve had the tools for carving my own stamps — just never found the time to explore it further. Perhaps, one day… Anyways, I love what you’ve done!

Yes – glad you’re feeling better, even though I’m pretty late to the game here! The bird stamp is wonderful – I’ve been having a great time playing with printmaking again, too, though I’ve been building up plates with cut foam – much easier!!

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