THE BLOG
10/20/2014 10:40 am ET Updated Dec 19, 2014

Inspiration: Where Do We Find It?

It is a much embraced subject and looks for answers in different fields of creative endeavor, even sometimes in politics. Though this thought is about art and architecture and its influence on our lives, men and women alike. Through art we experience transformations, which become the essence of life. It is created in innumerable forms, in architecture, in sculpture, in paintings, in music, in dance, in books, in jewelry, all are part of our inner thoughts and then become part of our physical environment. Indeed the keenest delight is in vivid visions colored by feelings accompanied by an intense experience. There remains the question... what is inspiration?

Are women creative? Yes! A most affirmative, yes! It is a missed moment in life, if we fail to see that inspiration becomes an intimate part of our consciousness and miss the pulse of these influences.We lose a source of joy and beauty to sense the language of worlds, often beyond our imagination. It would be a narrow world, if these creative minds would lie unrecognized of feelings and passions.

Let's take a look at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with its beautiful building, located in Washington, D.C. and its twenty supporting committees in the United States and in Europe, by assisting in spreading NMWA's mission. The original building was constructed in1907 and renovated in 1987 to its present splendor. The Museum's diverse holdings from around the world date from the 16th Century to the present with paintings by Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614), Mary Cassat (1844-1926), Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) to Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) The trailblazer was and is Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and her husband , Wallace. Together they had a vision and determination to create a welcoming environment for women artists from the yesterdays to the todays The museum is celebrating its 26th anniversary this year.

Here are four artistic visions about the creative process and thinking:

Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri are Architects, Iranian-born, Cornell educated; they have created their unique brand of sensual modernism for more than 25 years. This highly creative and evocative sister-team is internationally acclaimed for its creative forces and have been honored with numerous awards
What are Gisue and Mojgan saying about inspiration:' we have been fascinated by abstract and
geometric forms from nature, which we find in Persian architecture and the Modern architecture in the West. We have been collecting rocks, studying nature's formations, not the soft, curvilinear elements, but the faceted, edgy, asymmetrical rocks and crystals. We believe in functionality, This is our philosophy in designing buildings, interiors, furniture, lighting and recently we added jewelry to this vision.'

Gwen Marcus is an American Figurative Sculptor who works in bronze. Gwen speaks of her creations: 'I find inspiration in museums, in dance performances and in my travels. I often sketch ideas and images of future works; I have looked in awe at the work of the French sculptor Camille Claudel (1864-1943) and the English sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) as well as the Greeks of long ago. I begin with a concept, hire a model, then this creative energy is the soul and strength of the process, which then evolves into a life of its own. I create each from concept to realization. The flow of this empowering process is essential. It is not the surface of the sculpture, which sets my work apart, it is a life-force that resonates from within. This sensibility allows me to channel it into an artist vocabulary for the viewer. It is like breathing life into my work. Each sculpture has its own unique energy... no two are alike. Inspiration is all around us... we just have to sense, feel and see it.'

Catherine Howe, the American Painter, whose paintings overflow with sensuous, lush colors and bold energy, speaks of her inspiration in these words:' It is tempting to say that my inspiration comes nature; it is an inevitability, perpetuated by I.M. W. Tuner's (English painter 1775-1851) greatest advocate, John Ruskin (English Art Critic 1819-1900) Other muses seem inarticulate compared to the erotic language of nature. I have been compelled more than once to sit in my garden, sketch pad on-lap, prepared one thing or another, yet, once inside the studio, these garden glimpses shift... and become messy.. The meaning in paintings is fugitive, the inspiration feels like a gift. Like a good mystery, I don't want to know the ending or ponder the beginning. I rather stay suspended in the middle part where anything can happen.'

Temple St. Clair is an American Fine Jewelry Designer , she writes:' Inspire is from the Latin " to breathe life into" and is the key to creative process. Jewelry is my vehicle for creative expression. I find my themes through new discoveries in cultural histories, past and present, from my deep love of the natural world and below the sea, always from detailed observation. Having studied art and literature in Florence while working with the artisans for almost 30 years, I have created my own aesthetic vocabulary and deep knowledge of craft and materials. I have the freedom to explore and fuel my creativity with whatever materials I desire. My love for ancient astronomical theory moved me to create a fully mobile and wearable 3D pendant of the Ptolemaic hypothesis in gold and sapphires. The sleeping fox ring is from my current Mythical Creatures collection, drawn from fair-tale foxes, I have a vivid inner life and an insatiable curiosity to know more.'

These thoughts by artists and artisans have one thought in common... which is nature. Women in the arts are a very important and influential part of our civilized world. We honor their contributions and are fortunate to be able to enjoy these creative art-works and learn about their visions.