In a recent post, I mentioned a number of artists who have inspired and influenced me in my current profession as a photographer. Inspiration of course may come at different times in one’s life. In the acknowlegements section of my ‘Georgian Bay’ book (2008), I wrote: “ I am forever grateful to the following:
… Gerard Courtin for writing the introduction to this book and also for sharing with so many of us at Laurentian University over the years your passion about the environment and your enthusiasm for teaching. There is often one teacher who stands out in one’s life and you have been that one for me”. It was also an honour for me to dedicate the book 'Georgian Bay' to Gerard Courtin.
Inspiration for art can come from any number of places: from the written word, from an experience that touched one deeply, from the natural world, from an urban setting, from one's own imagination and of course, from the works of other artists - be they painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, photographers, textile artists, etc. Personally, I derive much of my inspiration from the natural world. 'Mother Nature' is the ultimate creator and offers me continued and limitless opportunities to see beauty throughout its kingdom. Over the years, I have also been inspired by artists from all walks of life. It's interesting to consider how each artist can touch you so deeply in such different ways; sometimes it's the way the artist uses a particular palette of subtle colours, sometimes it's the way an artist uses space or how boldly he positions his main subject in the artwork. A wide range of artists have left their mark on my own work, including the likes of Albrecht Dürer, Emily Carr, Tom Thompson, Lawren Harris, A.Y Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, Robert Bateman, Toni Onley, Andrew Wyeth, Ian Tamblyn, Brett Weston, Freeman Patterson, Ernst Haas, Franco Fontana as well as a host of contemporary photographers, too many to mention. Each has influenced me in some significant way on how I approach or produce my own art.
I have always loved this photograph I made some 22 years ago on traditional B&W film. For me, it captured a moment of love and tenderness between mother and daughter altough this is a slightly different image from the same series. This particular photograph is a 'close -up' version one of a small series I made. I had forgotten that my 'little cousin' Lise, whom I remember fondly playing with my 'little sister' Lorraine at the family cottage, had made the attached beautiful drawing based on this image. I finally saw it this spring during a recent visit. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories and I thought I would share her drawing along with her thoughts about her process.
It's an honour indeed to have one's artwork become the inspiration for another artist's art. Here is what Brenda had to say.
Visually captivating, ‘Mirrored Maze’ was inspired by a photograph from fine art photographer Mike Grandmaison that the artist came across while surfing the internet. The painting depicts a resplendent display of colourful fall foliage. Radiant reflections dance across the surface of the water, giving the impression of a mirrored maze; tangled branches, analogous shades of autumn, and crystal blue water. The image immediately stirred an artistic response within, appealing for a creative expression using paints.