fenceThis is one of many scenes in our neighborhood just last week…before it warmed up and melted most of the snow.

I think one of the things we tend to do as people is overlook the inspiration in the world right around us.  I heard last night of ministers who take their “study leave” in places like Florida and Hawaii.  And while those destinations might have merit in some ways (depending on the particular reason for the study leave), I wonder if we don’t miss some of the most profound truths that are right under our noses at home when we take off for far off lands.

Artists are just as guilty of this.  We go on artist-in-residence programs and jaunts around the world to discover new places that inspire us.  These are necessary at certain points in time.  But I think sometimes we jump the gun, so to speak.  We’re too quick to look for inspiration away from home.

What we really need is a new way to see what’s right in front of us.  To really look closely.  To analyze.  To view from multiple angles, attitudes, distances.  To explore.  To experiment.  To create.

Inspiration can come from anyplace, anything, anyone, or any idea.  It’s all in how we perceive it and think about it.  When I look at the fence above I see potential for modern or geometric rugs.  Another person might see something else – the coldness of the snow, the dead leaves on the plants – all fodder for exploration and experimentation.  Or an exploration in a monochromatic colour scheme.

So while the thermometer dips back down to frigid prairie temperatures, I resolve to take a closer look at our prairie winter and really see what’s here.  And to explore the different facets it presents.

What inspires you?  How do you explore your environment?

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