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What Inspires Me to Create Stained Glass Art

circular stained glass art on long stems in the foreground with a lake view in the background

When asked about what influences them to create, most artists will tell you they're inspired by their life experiences, their environment, or both. But honestly, just about anything is fair game when it comes to inspiring an artist to create.

Life and environment are obvious influencers, but so are other artists, books, movies, nature, weather, or relationships. In reality, there are no limits to what can inspire someone to create a particular piece of art or a whole body of work.

For me, everything that I see and experience in life influences my art either directly or indirectly, and many of those influences are simultaneous. There are some things that inspire me more than others, but it seems that the extent of those inspirations is ever-evolving; what influenced me heavily a year ago may not have much weight today. As artists evolve, so do their inspirations.

My earliest influences were Victorian windows. I adored the intricate shapes and curvy forms that wrapped themselves around jeweled bevels. Victorian windows evoked a sense of nostalgia and history, a bygone era. As my life evolved, so did my inspirations. I moved from Victorian windows to flowers and then landscapes that invariably included a river, lake, or a waterfall. I even went through a phase of abstracts inspired by Chagall and Picasso paintings.

These days, my art is most frequently inspired by nature. A walk in the woods or a day on the water will motivate me to get back to my studio and start sketching ideas and creating. Taking the time to slow my pace and purposefully take in small details that I would normally bypass without notice is the genesis of my current inspiration.

Animals, insects, light, shadow, color intensity and saturation, the sound of birds, or wind through the trees. Even scents can inspire me. The smell of forest pine or the cool damp earth in the aftermath of a summer storm inspire me to envision organic forms and color.

The act of producing art is also an inspiration. In and of itself, producing art creates a pleasure and reward system that ultimately guides me to a place of wanting to produce even more art. There is always the feeling that I can create something even better than the project that is before me, triggering me to think ahead about possibilities for my next project.

Art is about emotion, about creating a feeling that can be fleeting or last forever. As an artist, my ultimate goal is to create something that will pull the viewer in and compel them to feel something outside of their normal boundaries, even if just for a moment.

The continuous process of finding extraordinary inspiration in an otherwise ordinary world is the beginning of creating inspiration in others.

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