Where do all the flowers go?

My biggest challenge is in searching for the thing or things that will inspire me. And the inspiration might be to be more creative this week or more dedicated to cleaning off my desk at work (well maybe that one will take a little more enthusiasm).

Sometimes, it takes a ridiculous thought or a phrase from a song that kicks off the process for me. And truly, where have all the flowers gone, now that is has started to snow here in Michigan.

Flowers represent color and texture and how interesting it is to mix these, maybe total opposites, in a garden bed, and find out it wasn’t so crazy.

So I have to look beyond the flowers at the moment and seek out other sources of inspiration. That inspiration can come from things like decorated pillows; appliqués to beading, stitching to painting. I look at the colors and textures and see what others are doing.

Same for shoes, belts, purses- maybe scarves and jewelry. They all have interesting touches. Look at trends in interior decorating. My favorite- Catalogs selling items from near and far. All of those things get me to look at other ways of creating- or taking an idea from any of these places and seeing if it can work on a package or as an embellishment or “ribbon” treatment.

I look at Michigan winter time, which traditionally forces a slower pace, to try something new. As an informally or formally trained artist, I push myself to take a class in an art medium that is radically different than what I do everyday.

First, there’s always the chance to learn a new way of expressing yourself, even if you discover the medium is not suited to you. On the other hand, it may be a pleasant surprise to find that you like it and maybe want to dabble a little bit more in that area just to see what percolates. Ultimately, it may even turn out to be your life’s ambition.

So if you are lucky enough to have flowers, get out there and smell them, touch them and draw inspiration from them.

And if you are like me, think out of the box and try something new. You just never know.

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