Looking for Inspiration

cow parsley under trees


One of the best things about having a daughter who runs printmaking workshops is that I get the chance to faff about with inks and paper and bits of lino. Ruth will call me to say the heating is on in the barn and she’s printing, so why don’t I pop over and join her. Off I trot, put on an apron, sit at a table, lay out a sheet of clean paper, sharpen my pencil, arrange the crayons in rainbow order, set out a neat line of cutting tools, make a cup of coffee … anything but commit pencil to paper as my mind has gone blank. The recent inactivity here on the blog may perhaps be reflected in my tidy and well organised desk. Even the paperclips are neatly sorted into a tin.

I’m not alone. Some of the people who take part in the printmaking workshops arrive with sketchbooks and folders filled with designs and ideas but there are also others like me who arrive with an enthusiasm to print, but no idea of what to print. We need a springboard to find our inspiration.

Looking for inspiration

This is one of the ideas we’ve had for providing a bit of a springboard.

Consequently, taking a piece of my own advice, I’ve been …

West Mersea seaside

taking a walk by the sea,

drain cover

looking down to find patterns,

horse chestnut blossom on grass

noticing the beautiful colour of the horse chestnut blossom blown onto the grass,


exploring the textures and shapes of the stones beneath my feet,

hawthorn flowers

looking up through the hawthorn blossom at the blue sky (but wishing it would turn grey and rain),

inside old farm building

peering inside empty old farm buildings, feeling the texture of the rough walls and watching the dust dance in the sunlight.

a quiet place to sit

Finally,  finding a quiet place to sit on an ivy covered tree trunk surrounded by cow parsley. I now have some ideas running through my mind for printmaking, though I’m not sure it’s helped much with blog posts.

Next, I need some inspiration for supper. Perhaps a walk first …



Where do you find your inspiration?


15 thoughts on “Looking for Inspiration

  1. How lovely to be able to pop into your daughter’s printing studio like that. I do know what you mean about inspiration and there’s always that thing about everybody else’s inspiration looking more inspirational than one’s own somehow! Or maybe I just have too many plagiarist tendencies! Your photos look wonderful sources of inspiration to me – I especially like that man-hole cover or whatever it is. By the way, seekers of elusive inspiration are in good company – Winston Churchill when he took up oil painting found it impossible to put brush to blank white canvas and it was only when a visiting artist seized a brush and boldly added a few strokes to the vast empty space that he could get started. There’s something about needing to get over the sill and begin, even if what you begin, you later decide against. I know this but still find it hard to apply. Sorry – I haven’t really answered your question but I’ve probably wittered on long enough! E x

    1. A bit like starting a new sketchbook or journal – somehow marking that first page is difficult, as if it has to be something amazing to start the book. Perhaps that explains why we used to write on our school exercise books our name and address ending with The Universe, Outer Space … anything to fill that page!

  2. Lovely to have you back in blog land Anne. It is funny how inspiration ebbs and flows. There is plenty of inspiration in this post…I adore that old empty farm building, wow! Those textures. Is that building on your property? Is the sea always that colour in your part of the world? The beach is a constant source of inspiration I find, although I don’t visit it as often as I would like. Good luck with supper inspiration, I am constantly looking for it also!

  3. Love this!! As you know, I’m inspired by light in the mornings, especially the patterns it makes as I go about my morning walk. But lately I’ve been fascinated with Indian block printed fabrics, and I’ve been reading up on dabu block prints, and Ajrakh, and kantha quilting. It’s amazing how much Indian cotton is still hand printed! Just what I needed, another “enthusiasm”… 😉

  4. Amazing how ones mind can go blank when most of the time its buzzing with ideas. You have inspiration here for lots of things. I knw something is inspiring me when I find I keep taking pictures of the same things wherever I go.

  5. I quite often have days of inertia when I have absolutely no inspiration for writing or cooking, or anything else! But I find these help: walking the dog and stopping to notice everything en route, or talking to people (including my children), or flicking through magazines, visiting other gardens, or going to the beach. Sometimes even watching tv (although I don’t do that v much). I love all your pictures, especially the farm building and manhole cover! It must be lovely having the barn to be creative in when inspiration does strike. Hope you’ll be working away full of ideas very soon.

  6. A thoughtful post Anne with some thought provoking pictures. Inspiration comes with enthusiasm after a break a holiday a walk along a beach, or in the countryside, recharging the batteries and away we go!

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