As a child I always loved to draw, but had no opportunity to have any art classes until my Senior year in high school. (the Parochial schools I went to did not believe in art classes). Taking this one class was enough to give me some insight into wanting to paint and do pastels.
I grew up given the ideals that an artist is NOT a real job, so I pursued other avenues of employment, but kept drawing and filling sketchbooks for years. While raising kids, I worked as a visual merchandiser/window dresser for large department stores and the last seven years as a floral designer.This was enough to keep the creative juices flowing through my veins, but being an artist was still the main thought in the back of my head.
In 1991, I took up the recreational sport of scuba diving. Armed with an underwater camera, I take thousands of photographs to use as reference for my drawings/ paintings.
I quit my "real job" almost two years ago now, and have dedicated my days to painting mostly underwater scenes and creatures, although I also paint landscapes from my cruise to Alaska, a trip to Glacier Natl Park and Yellowstone and my own state of Wisconsin.
When I used to paint murals for clients, they would tell me that while they were describing to me what they would want painted, I would get this "look" on my face as they were talking. I would be "painting" the mural in my head at that exact moment, and could then come in, sometimes without even a sketch, and start laying paint without hesitation.
Inspiration to me is looking at something and feeling it "trigger" inside. It is an unconscious burst of creativity that I get when I see an object, landscape or sea critter.
It is a stimulation or idea that encourages me to do a painting.