Contrary to popular belief, I don't conjure these  mystical places and people ahead of time. They simply just appear from a place grounded in reality. Yes, it's true. These are real people, real places. For me personally, planning pieces ahead of time never works. There is simply too much that I see that was NOT planned,and the well layed out journey destroyed. For example, the stray pencil mark that happened when I leaned my arm on the page. Most people would erase that. I've learned to look at it first, then decide. More often than not it stays. Why? Because marks are very important to a piece of art, and they have a voice of their own. It really becomes a partnership between us all.. the model, me, the marks. We're a team.

Yes, there is a trigger of inspiration. In this case, her expression and pose. I love the fierce quality I often see in women. Something I've committed to witnessing more often, and showcasing more frequently in my work. It inspired me to think about how that manifests in my own world, this strength that would bring me forward and up, into the light, yet grounded in reality, down to the earth. I need both.

The creative side of many of us makes us dreamers, always looking ahead, never quite here, now. That has its good uses at times, but it never works for me to stay there long. I overlook too much. The blurred edge, the sharpened pencil digging into the board, the wrong color mixed. A smudge. It takes fierce discipline it takes to move forward and make that stroke, and then to step back and analyze without panic. In those moments, I look to my foundation and remember what I know. I'm learning to discover the  mistake, that really was the gift.

Rise. Everything I needed was there all along. Hidden in the present moment.