Today, it’s relatively easy to buy handmade paintings online without thinking about what inspired them. For many people, it’s the reaction to the piece that matters – not its origins. But for the curious or the aspiring artist, it’s worth considering the question of motivation. What brings a painter’s brush to the canvas, and how does an initial thought become a finished piece? Here are a few sources of inspiration that spark creativity in many artists:
- A Significant Subject – From a loved one to a childhood home, some of the most common features in paintings from every era are individual subjects. They might hold personal significance to the artist, be relevant to a theme, or simply offer something visually striking to paint.
- A Motivated Message – Many artists start with an idea they want to convey, rather than a thing that they intend to portray. These ideas can be personal, political, or universal, but they usually center on firmly held beliefs or motivating questions that drive the painter to explore them through art.
- An Evocative Emotion – In less concrete paintings, color and texture often convey pure, powerful feelings. This can be therapeutic for the artist, or merely a way of translating an emotional experience into a visual one that can be shared with others.