Lately, I’ve been pondering the work and life of the impressionist painter, Claude Monet. His work embodies such a deep appreciation and reverence for nature, color, and light. And still, after painting for more than 70 years, he had moments where he doubted and detested his own work.
“I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that’s the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.” – Claude Monet
The slow season gives me a lot of time to think about who I am as an artist.
I want to grow and become deepen the skills and understanding of my craft.
All that to say is that in this slow season, I have plenty of days where I can feel stuck, and that is why seeking inspiration is one of the things that is of the utmost importance.
Finding inspiration is something that allows my brain and creative muscles to rest, and one of the ways I’m able to come back year after year re-charged, with a new perspective. I find that with how noisy our world has become that there’s so much solace and revelation in some of the simplest things.
Claude Monet, Monet’s Garden at Giverny, 1895. Public Domain.
Spending time in nature, to remember how small I am is one way. I’m continually humbled and left in awe when I consider the universe and how everything in it has been orchestrated to work together in harmony; and how each thing can be appreciated with every one of the senses, but never truly fathomed in all of its essences. I’ll be finding myself in the beautiful California, once again, for a wedding, and more states in this stunning country; and these trips, I’m sure, will be such a balm to my heart and inspire me in ways I’ve never been.
“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” – Claude Monet
I find much inspiration from sources outside of my own industry; fashion publications that feature women in powerful roles, wearing articles of clothing and art that push the envelope and make you question societal norms…I’m drawn to patterns, colors, and unique usages of light in all different mediums. If it makes me pause and consider any sort of beliefs I’ve held (whether that be about life, or the rules of art/composition – anything really), I find it to be invaluable.
I adore Claude Monet and his work, for the way that it challenged the definition of art during his time, and how color was one of the primary focuses of this style. Intentional, short, strokes, with special attention given to the beauty of light and its effects on this world. I love how deeply he cared about the work he did and his affection for showcasing the beauty of what can so often be seen as mundane. There’s just nothing like it.
All this to say, that even if there are moments where I feel like I am hitting a creative wall and cannot sense inspiration, it’s an encouragement to be reminded that even some of the best in the world found themselves with days they felt uninspired and stale, where they contested themselves and their craft, and where they couldn’t see/understand the magnificence that they created.
I’m learning that it’s okay, beautiful, even, to be in this part of the process.
That it’ll allow for me to serve clients and celebrate weddings even more deeply than before.
That an artist doesn’t necessarily ever feel like they’ve arrived.
That being uncomfortable and dissecting your own work is a sign of growth and one of the greatest parts of the journey. 🤍