How to Find Inspiration in Unexpected Places

“Goblin Market Restaurant Tree”

As an artist, I think I look at things differently.

I see things that completely stop me in my tracks, while others might walk right on by! I’m always amazed at how differently each one of us sees and processes the world.

A case in point is one of my recent trips to Mount Dora, Florida with my husband.  We love to visit Mt. Dora. We walk around the quaint downtown area, treat ourselves to a great meal, take a hike, go for a boat or train ride or just hang out.

This particular day, after a walk around the downtown area, we headed to one of my favorite restaurants, “The Goblin Market Restaurant.” (  for lunch. It’s been there since 1996. This particular day was a perfect spring day and the hostess asked us if we would like to dine inside or outside on the patio.  We both said, “Outside!” So the hostess takes us to this table outside under this huge oak tree! She gives us the menu.  I glance at the menu. We already know what we want, so we order. We hand back the menus, then I look up!

I’m totally blown away! There is this plant that has wound itself completely up the side of the tree. The plant is being lit by the sun and seems to be sun lit from behind all the way up the tree. Even the tree leaves seem to be back-lit! I can’t believe how beautiful it is!

The beautiful bright green plants are contrasted against the red tones of the tree bark and the bright lime green tree leaves are highlighted against the brilliant Easter egg blue sky!

It completely takes my breath away! I take my phone out and start snapping photos – from every angle imaginable! Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap.

Now people are starting to stare at me. I’m sure they’re thinking, “What could she possibly be taking a picture of? All we see is a HUGE tree! What is she doing?”

I keep snapping photos, hoping that the pictures will do the image justice.

I couldn’t wait to get back home so I could start my painting of the tree. I knew the painting would present a few challenges, like getting the perspective right and the most important thing, getting the “sun lit” quality of the plants and leaves “right.”

I really wanted the plant and the leaves to “pop.” So, since I’m painting the image in acrylics and they dry darker, it means multiple coats of highlights.  Lots of applications of pure color on top of pure color.

After all was said and done, I was really happy with the results.

You can judge it for yourself. Can you feel the spring day? Can you see the sunshine beaming down on the tree leaves and plant?

If you can, then I’ve done my job of sharing my world with you and how I felt on that pristine spring day on the patio totally arrested by the beauty of the moment!

Inspiration comes from anywhere! Be sure to look up! I’m not sure we’re always thinking about looking “up” for ideas. Maybe it just means we should spend more time each day with our head in the clouds!

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