image of the coast in blue hies with a title 'Finding Inspiration Blog''
Where do I find my inspiration?
I absolutely love painting however, when I’m indoors I’m always wishing I was outside! Conversely, when I find new inspiration out and about, I often can’t wait to get home and paint it. I do like my own company and when I’m alone I notice so much more, particularly when there is a quiet stillness in the air and I’m able to be completely in the moment.  I concentrate on studying colours and how the light at the time affects objects, shade and of the reflections on water. It’s also important for me to take note of the smells in the air and sounds such as the rustle of the wind in the trees - when painting nature from experiences the memories of smells and sounds help me when I’m recreating the atmosphere and setting. Who doesn’t love a morning stroll along the beach? I’m obsessed with the coast and ocean and when I can I’ll swim or paddleboard as often as possible. The outdoors is not only good for the soul, but it stimulates creativity.
paddleboard on river exe
I feel an emotional connection with nature and wildlife, I want to know their story and understand their plight, their behaviours, and the roles that they play in the eco-system. Even the wobble of a pigeon’s head or the stomping movement of seagulls, I need this contact with nature to feed my soul.
For me to accurately depict nature through my art, I like to spend time studying movement and behaviour and the energies given off by wildlife and the surroundings. But not everything is accessible outdoors. This month I took a trip to the National Marine Aquarium (NMA). The NMA is the UK’s largest aquarium; is located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth, and is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the ocean. The NMA is a great place to learn about ocean conservation messages and how we are all connected by the ocean…. It’s also the perfect place for me to look for inspiration for my oceanic paintings. I’m also lucky to have my artwork for sale in their store. 
There is something quite mesmerizing about water and the creatures that live within the sea. Seeing animals in this natural and tranquil blue habitat brings a sense of positive calmness. Visiting the NMA the other day I made some sketches for my new oceanic collection; some of my inspiration:
The slow glide of a shark with a Sharp flickered change of direction; the slow graceful movement of the rays; the bobbing goofy character of the puffer fish.
Yellow colours arouse an optimistic and bright feeling whilst vibrant oranges evoke vitality and richness; reds build a composition of fiery intensity and dark rich purples give a feeling of luxurious. These colours exist in nature for all kinds of reasons, sometimes to warn off predators, to camouflage or to attract others.
brightcoloured fishfish in a tank
Let me share with you some of my top inspiring sights
Homarus Gammarus (Lobster)
Sea Urchin
I’ve fallen in love with sea urchins with their pinky body and white spikes.
Sand tiger shark
Sharks cannot bond with humans but the energy they emit is magical, a still black beady eye with metallic colouration. Loved the Sand Tiger Shark. I found it extremely tricky to sketch these dudes, but I think I have captured their unique colourations.  
Who wouldn’t be mesmerised by the rays as they flex their entire bodies like a wave; the slow gliding movement gave the appearance that they were flying through the water. The rays had a real calming influence on me; it is this that I want to bring out in my painting of them.
Samantha Frances Sketching Jellyfish
Jellies- I could have spent hours watching the jellyfish tumbling with their frilly oral arms and tentacles beautifully tailing behind their bell shape.
Green Turtle
Green  turtle swimming
Their Green Turtle is named Friday. A celebrity in the NMA, watching this large, magnificent creature makes me feel motivated to learn more and further support the plight of this endangered treasure.
Samantha Frances Sketching Fish in the Aquarium
The ocean conservation trust is working on many ocean restoration projects, including restoring the Seagrass Beds in the South of the UK. The NMA is also an industry leader in the research of behaviours to support animal welfare in Fish, Sharks, Rays, and Invertebrates. They are also currently participating in around 8 different breeding programmes across Europe, ensuring the future of a range of endangered Ocean animals including:
  • The Ocellated Eagle Ray
  • Cownose Rays
  • Bluespot Ribbontail Rays
  • Sand Tiger shark
  • Undulate Skate
  • Zebra Shark  
In the Store
Knowing that for each one of my prints sold at the National Marine Aquarium Plymouth, a portion of the profit is going towards the Charity and their ocean positive cause, I could not be happier to be supporting this cause.
Samantha Frances with her art work in the store
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1 comment

Very interesting, love your passion


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