Artistic Inspiration in the Sublime Spheres of Women, Landscapes, and History.
This documentary article dives deeply into the sublime spheres of women, landscapes, seascapes, history, and digital, where emerging artists are unquestionably finding their finest inspiration.
“Where Are We Looking For Inspiration?” is a question posed in the article, “Silicon Valley Wall Art This Season.” While much of the discussion about art and inspiration focuses on established artists, emerging artists are often left out of the conversation, even though they are just as creative and well-versed in their fields as anyone else. And many emerging artists find inspiration in the strangest of places, including women’s bodies, landscapes, and historical artifacts.
How women have inspired emerging artists through the ages
The topic is broad, but there are plenty of examples. In 1789 French artist Adélaïde Labille-Guiard painted The Smoker. The picture portrays a woman smoking a pipe while resting her head on her hand. The look on her face says she is looking deep into herself or perhaps pondering a problem or an idea that has yet to be developed. This was long before women were allowed to vote or even think such thoughts as they have today. Women had few rights back then and were not encouraged to pursue their own interests. Women’s roles were largely limited to home life, raising children, cooking meals, cleaning house—the list goes on. It would seem impossible for women at that time to find inspiration for anything outside of their daily lives—but if you look closely enough at history you will see how women found inspiration from other women who came before them and how they used it as fuel for change in their own lives.
How landscapes have inspired emerging artists through the ages
From Rembrandt to Van Gogh to Edward Hopper, many artists have been inspired by landscapes. For emerging artists—whether painters or photographers—environments full of vibrant natural beauty are a tremendous source of inspiration. Here’s how these sublime spheres have inspired men and women through art history. For thousands of years, women have also been deeply moved by nature. In fact, some of our most well-known landscape paintings were created by women: Monet’s Impression Sunrise was painted by his wife Camille; while Mary Cassatt captured impressionist scenes that still inspire today.
How seascapes have inspired emerging artists through the ages
In 2007, when artist Emily Anderson won a contest sponsored by National Geographic to submit artwork that represented mythical journeys as she imagined them, it didn’t take long for her to decide on her subject matter. After all, inspiration was literally right at her fingertips. The contest required entrants to create two pieces: one illustrating a mythical journey in their own life and another illustrating a mythical journey they would like to experience someday. For Anderson, who had been painting seascapes since childhood—her father is an avid sailor—the choice was obvious. I thought, ‘Well, I know what I want to do!’ she says with a laugh.
How history has inspired emerging artists through the ages
Throughout history, artists have turned to their surroundings for inspiration—whether that means other people or nature. In 2020, as a part of a poetry prompt, “The 400-years of African Americans in California,” emerging, California prison-artist C-Note was intrigued by Mexican Governor and Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés naming California after a Black Queen.
Cortez, like all of Spain, had been enamored by 16th century poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in his epic novel of chivalry, Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián). In the novel, Calafia is a pagan warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of black women living on the Island of California.
In his 2020 poem Journey to Afrofuturism, C-Note uses Cortés muse to tell the tale of California and her Queendom as the nurse maid home of the Afrofuturism movement. Speculative fiction critic Charles Payseur of Quick Sip Reviews described the poem as “a celebration of scholarship and of art to reach back and make connections, to find Afrofuturism waiting in all times, in all places.” When C-Note found out his poem was to be included in a book, it spawned him to tell the story of the California Black Queen visually.
How the digital world is inspiring emerging artists today
Emerging artists today are finding artistic inspiration where they have never been discovered before, inside of the digital world. Whether it’s Instagram, Video Games, or the Metaverse, artists have consistently channeled their creative energy into works that capture moments as fleeting as time itself. As more emerging artists turn to digital mediums to find such inspiration, I hope they discover a fine appreciation for women, landscapes, seascapes, and history along the way. After all, if there were no women or historical moments to draw from, how would contemporary artists know what they had left to express? I believe art is at its finest when its true origins can be recognized and appreciated.
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