Where I Find Inspiration

For Day 4 of Creativity Boot Camp, our word was 'heavy metal'.

heavy metal

We were also asked to take our cameras out and look for inspiration in our outside world. As I don't drive, my path takes me along the same long road over the bridge and through the leafy road along the river. Walking everywhere, especially when accompanied by a toddler means that I have many an opportunity to take inspiration along the way. Combined with the garden and the parks in our village, I realised that the vast majority of my inspiration comes from the things I see everyday and the time I have to reflect when we are walking and both children are content.

1. Mornin Rounds, 2. Untitled, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. Untitled, 9. Untitled, 10. Untitled, 11. Untitled, 12. 24Jan2010_5797

1. Every morning, I head out for a few minutes in the garden with my coffee.  I love those quiet moments, checking the peas, strawberries, pumpkins and other veg.  Summer is such an amazing time and I love to see what is happeneing and gather my thoughts for the day.

2. As we wander down the street, we pass a red phone box.  A RED PHONE BOX.  I love photographing this stalwart of British design. It remains one of those visual cues that reminds me that I am somewhere special.

3. The river. As it changes with the seasons and the tide. Crossing it on foot everyday gives a sense of adventure to going out…like the village is surrounded by a moat.  Crossing it in the other direction means we are almost home.  And while its ecosystem may not be thriving, the colours, textures, openness and wildlife that inhabit its sluggish waters are all a wonderful breathing space from the business of everyday life.   

4. Puddles.  There is one particularly low dip along our journey.  Usually filled with water.  Always jumped in.  Often photographed.

5. & 10. Stirling is a university town.  While this brings some vibrancy to the city, it also brings a lot of rental and unkempt housing.  As we wander a long the road, we walk past a range of overgrown gardens.  These two are my favourite.  5. has this HUGE posy bush that I look at longingly every time I pass, often taking pictures when they finally bloom.  10. has a red front door that matches the red poppies growing amongst the gravel and rubbish. I love finding beauty in unusual places.  I love the contrasts of it.  I love the unexpectedness. 

6, 7, 11. Red Shoes.  OK.  These are not in the natural world, but red shoes have the amazing ability to make any ground shot interesting.  Plus they make me unbelievably happy.

8 & 9. after the slightly run down rental housing, we come to a row of villas.  They all have beautiful gardens, mature trees and sit above the river, looking out over the fields.  As I walk through this section, I always feel incredibly calm (and slightly jealous).

12. The Abbey.  Through every season, the abbey is the background to our lives and photographs.

Of course, I still get inspiration from the web, from my friends, from books and from other desperate sources, but as I walked with my camera yesterday, I realised that living life at pavement level plays a big role in my own creativity.  It is my time to think, to observe and to reflect…rare gifts in the world of mothering small children. That time to pull it all together probably plays a bigger role than any one thing, even my red shoes.

Where do you find inspiration?


5 responses

  • I only learnt to drive 3 years ago- I raised 4 kids walking. I SO know what you mean. When you walk, you have time to stop and notice things. I miss it. We are living in a town (in CT) where it’s almost impossible to be totally pedestrian, which is why I got my license- I HAD to. But I miss those walking days. Particularly with toddlers who naturally stop to look at things, who see things from a different level. And I think you are right- it is such a creative inspiration. And it teaches kids to really look at things- to notice things, to observe how things change as you walk the same route day in and day out over the years. I spend all my time whizzing kids around to various sports these days and it’s a totally different feel. Thank you for reminding me of those lovely days.

  • Walking! I feel starved of walking here in the States. It’s weird that I have to make the effort to get out and walk. But when I do the world feels more in balance. Walked your route so many times past those villas – wonderful!
    Hopefully be walking that route in August to come visit!!!!
    jude XX

  • Ooh I like the idea of a bootcamp, must look into it. PS give me back my shoes!!
    I also need to see the skirt you are making, inspire me