What Inspires an Artist?

https://www.dorothyfagan.com/collections/limited_edition_art_products/abstract-floral-zinnias

How Does an Artist Find Inspiration?

You’ll be surprised to discover what inspires this artist! Go behind the scenes inside an artist studio to see what inspires paintings, and designs for tables, fabrics, jackets, and more. See the artist creative process up close.

I’m sooooooooo excited! My newest collection is taking flight as we speak!

I know you are curious about my inspirations, process, and colors. So I’d like to take you behind the scenes at my studio by the pond in Virginia for an inside look.

what inspires artist
studio by the pond

Inspiration for my new Butterfly Signature Collection began quietly one Saturday morning on my run to the farmers’ market for veggies. When I came home with two big bunches of coral zinnias and pale pink, lace-cap hydrangea everything in the studio started moving.

Where to set up the flowers to paint? The studio was a mess! I cut the stems and placed them in a frosted green vase and cleared the round table, pulled it over under the skylight in front of the easels ~ then set about searching for something wonderful to cover the paint mess on the table.

what inspires artist

Hunting through all the closets ~ fabrics, tablecloths, blankets, afghans ~ I spied the Meandering Garden Path Butterfly Jacket.

It’s an oversize box-cut jacket with green and white ‘stripes’ sewn on, in a meandering path with my hand painted floral under collar and butterfly pocket.

There she was hanging in the studio armoire waiting for me with her Bird’s Nest Scarf!

what inspires artist, butterfly jacket

Meandering Garden Path Butterfly Jacket

Amid the clutter I began photographing my still life ~ and then it happened.

A switch flipped in my head and my perspective switched. Suddenly I found myself photographing from above.

This changed everything! Suddenly I could ‘see’ the painting clearly.

Setting one of the copper canvases I’d prepared on the easel ~ I sketched out my design and began painting.

what inspires artist, wildflowers painting,

Remembering You on Our Meandering Garden Path

I’d been painting fabrics and designing jackets for years. Now they’d come full circle INTO my paintings.

Zinnias signify ‘thinking of an absent friend’

~ and white hydrangea ~ ‘I’ll pray for you!’

What a perfect message for this breakthrough painting! It reminds me of my mother, as she was the one who taught me to sew and design clothing, and took me to painting classes with her. While she was ill with her cancer, that’s when I began painting in gardens. It gave me solace and sanctuary to sit there in the garden and pray with my paint brush. This has indeed been a meandering path!

As I worked on cleaning the studio, day by day I could see fabrics, purses, scarves, and jackets based on the design.

Then suddenly ~ I could see blooms like these all over the round table I’d been trashing with my messiness!

The table had come with the little cottage on Indian Lake that Mom and Dad bought in 1952! Now she too was getting a new life.

what inspires artist, hand painted table

The table moved with Mom and Dad in the 60s, when Dad covered it with formica and painted the base with black enamel. They gave away it to mom’s cousin, who took it to Tom’s River. A decade later it was returned!

Dad stripped the formica and black enamel, and refinished it with clear polyurethane, and put it on the enclosed porch in their new home as a breakfast table.

After Mom died, Dad remarried and sold the house. The table moved to the basement of his new home on Cape Cod where he used it as a desk. Years later as they closed the house for their move to Hanover, New Hampshire, the table came home with me.

what inspires artist, hand painted table,

I am giving her a new life as a wildflower table. To guarantee the kids won’t put her out for the trash when I croak, I’m giving her wildflower dress a top coat of epoxy! This indestructible finish is what they use on those restaurant tables at Starbucks, Chili’s, Applebees, and the like.

I’ve designed it like a French tablecloth, with the two leaves in alternating coordinating colored stripes. I can’t wait to show her to you!!!

what inspires artist, hand painted table,

She’s taking a long time to dry, before I can finish dressing her out for her big reveal.

Remembering You on Our Meandering Garden Path Edition

Meandering Garden Path Butterfly Jacket

Remembering You on Our Meandering Garden Path Oil Painting

Keep in mind, there are only 10 available in the edition, and the Butterfly Jacket is one of a kind!

Sneak Peek VIDEO

Many Blessings!

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Joy's Garden

Joy's Garden

Joy's Garden