Design VI: Sources

Where do artists get their ideas, their designs, and their inspiration? Some sources are:

Nature and "manmade" nature: Patterns and structures found in natural objects and 
  surroundings; patterns seen in manmade materials and processes, such as architecture, rust 
  and decay processes, accidental stains, fabric textures, etc.

Other visual art (painting, sculpture, photography, prints, ceramics), and the other arts of 
  literature, music, dance, etc.

Environment: A broad term covering what we see around us every day; an example is how the 
  Pop artists of the 1950's and '60's were influenced by the new consumer culture of commercial 
  packaging, comic books, billboards, media hype, and convenience products.
History and myth: For centuries, artists have been influenced by events of history, from the 
  ravages of war to heroic struggles for freedom. From the very first art objects hundreds of 
  thousands of years ago, artmakers have been influenced by myth. Modern and 
  contemporary artists are still aware of myths and how they affect us; the Abstract 
  Expressionists (such as Jackson Pollock and William Baziotes) painted images influenced by
  ancient myths and totems of  Native Americans and others.

Science and mathematics: The golden mean (a mathematical ratio used to determine 
  proportions in visual art and architecture) has been used by artists at least since the ancient 
  Greeks. New ideas in science, such as those of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, affected 
  many 20th century artists.
Industry and technology: Many early 20th century artists were influenced by the new 
  machines of industry in their work, such as the Italian Futurists. Contemporary artists 
  have similarly been greatly affected by the technological revolution, using computers 
  and lasers in their work.

Emotion and spirit: The major movement based on emotions, rather than rational 
  thought processes, was Expressionism in the 19th century, which is still alive in art 
  done today. Probably the most famous expressionist painter is Van Gogh.
  Contemporary artists, such as Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, a Native American artist, are 
  still influenced by abstract and spiritual ideas in their work.

Philosophy, psychology and social: Contemporary conceptual artists have been 
  influenced by contemporary philosophical writings and ideas, such as Bruce Nauman 
  and Joseph Kosuth. The Surrealists were much influenced by new ideas in psychology 
  introduced by Sigmund Freud in the early 20th century. Many artists since the 1960's 
  have been influenced by social realities and issues, such as Edward and Nancy 
  Kienholz and Kerry James Marshall.
This online lesson, Design VI: Sources, is intended to elaborate on the above artistic sources, and to offer students an array of possible sources for their artwork. There is also a section on the artist's Self, which is also a major source for ideas and inspiration. Our memories, experiences and imagination can be major artistic sources for us, if we learn to be more aware of our selves. Many examples and illustrations are given of specific sources to tap, as a beginning artist. There are over 40 images designed to illustrate various sources of design and inspiration, and 100+ links to Internet images of well known artists, as examples of the many sources artists have used. See my resume for my teaching qualifications.

My feeling is that somewhere among all these examples, you will find at least one that lights a spark of inspiration for you, as I have included a very broad range of artists, from Grandma Moses (a folk painter) to Andy Goldsworthy, a contemporary artist who makes poetic art objects from natural materials. I have also included a number of my own paintings, with descriptions of how these images were first conceived, and illustrations of the artistic sources from which I first got the ideas. I have tried to offer a vast array of possibilities, especially designed for beginners and students to find their own voices.
The cost of this lesson is $15.00, payable through of PayPal. To order, please click on the Add to Cart and View Cart buttons below, then fill in your name and e-mail address in the information text boxes below, and click Submit. Clicking on the Submit button will send your name and e-mail address to me, so that I can send you the password for the Design: Sources lesson. (Please send a valid e-mail address to me - if you type in a mailbox where you receive your junk mail, and this box is full, the Mailer Daemon will return my e-mail to me. If you don't hear from me within 24 hours, the e-mail has not reached you; in this case, please e-mail me with another e-mail address if possible. (Thanks!)

You will have permanent access to this lesson, and I am always available for questions and advice if needed. This lesson is one of the six small-fee-based lessons I have created on my website, to help support all of the free lessons here - 4 drawing, 4 painting, 4 design, and others. I very much appreciate your support of this site, as I plan to keep adding lessons to it for a long time to come. Some future courses are: Painting an Impressionist Landscape, Space in Painting, Tonal Values, Collage, Types of Design, Intermediate Drawing, Portraits and many others.
This lesson costs $15.00. To order, please click on the Add to Cart and View Cart buttons below, and also please enter your full name and e-mail address in the information boxes below, then click on the Submit button. You will receive your password for the lesson shortly. If you don't receive an e-mail from me within 24 hours, please send an alternate e-mail address to me if possible, as I was unable to reach you at your first e-mail address.
Nancy Doyle
   Fine Art
Drawing I: Contour
Drawing II: Mass
Drawing III: Gesture
Mechanics of Drawing
Painting I: Stretch Canvas
Painting II: Materials
Painting III: Still Life
Pastel Lesson
Painting IV: Possibilities
Charcoal Lesson
Figure Drawing
Perspective for Artists
email me
Design I: Meaning
Design II: History
Design III: Guidelines
Design IV: Elements
Design V: Principles
Art Appreciation
Art Instruction
Notes on Art-Making
Artist Profiles:

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Glossary of Art Terms
Modern Art Movements
What Is Art About?
Thank you for your order! Please enter your full name and e-mail address in the information boxes below, then click the Submit button. This will send me your e-mail address, so I can then send you the password for this lesson.
Getting Discouraged
Painting V: Color Mixing
The Correct Way
    to Make Art    
Notes on Art-Making II
Self-Critique of My Work
Digital Photographs
Evolution of a Painting