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With Wild Abandon – Guest Blogger – Karen Nelson

May 11, 2011

Wall Hanging ©Karen Nelson

 Inspiration to create art. . . . where does it come from?  While we may have mistakenly assumed that artists “just work from ideas within their head,” I have learned from study at Gail Harker’s Creative Studies Center, that we access our creativity by beginning with a source of inspiration. Determining your source of inspiration . . . something which ignites interest and has many facets from which to work. . . is one of the harder things to do. Everything inspires me! But, I find that it works best to work from a source which is near me. . . one that I identify with, have access to, and which has an emotional draw for me.

Inspiration - a headlight ©Karen Nelson

The source of inspiration that I have been working with for the last 2 years is old farm equipment. I do not presently live on a farm, but I grew up on one. In addition, my husband has a fascination for restoring old cars. Between my parent’s farm in Minnesota and my husband’s “treasures” in North Dakota, I am finding an unlimited reservoir of inspiration. From headlights of a car, old springs on car seats, to the abandoned wood pile which has an old muffler on the heap, I am having a great time taking pictures and bringing rusty pieces into my home as potential sources of inspiration.

Inspiration - engine compartment of a caterpillar loader(side view) ©Karen Nelson

What have I learned? Yes, I am inspired by the sunrises and sunsets of North Dakota and by the wheat fields. Nature is a tremendous source of inspiration and beauty, but there is also a wonderous resource right in my own garage. . . Choosing the theme “with WILD abandon,” I am seeing the contrast of the abandoned tractors, old trucks, or uniqueness of the lines within the headlight. You don’t need to look far for inspiration. It could be in your flower garden, in the architecture of homes in your neighborhood. . . . or even in your very own junk pile.

Karen is a graduate of the Level 3  Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch and is using this inspiration for Level 4 Experimental Research for Advanced Design.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 6:30 am

    Karen, a prairie girl after my own heart. There is something magical for me as well, about the weathered and faded patterns of decay, be it the equipment or the buildings. Nature will rule out.

  2. December 15, 2011 10:25 am

    Old cars are really treasures.
    restoration classic car

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