For the most part the things that inspire me don't occur in my everyday surroundings. I love a certain wintry mood, a little desolate. I love historic architecture and a certain gothic mood to cities, Savannah sends me into raptures. For every day living however I despise the cold and picture myself eternally circling the block in a city trying to work up the nerve to parallel park.
South Florida specializes in bright colors and a tropical feel. Not so much my artistic style. I would love to branch out but my brain has been so inundated by Jimmy Buffet themed rooms from northern transplants (I'm one myself) that I feel like I have a mental block. I want more of this:
And less of this!!
The one inspiration I currently have from my "real" life is the local marine life. When we got back from the keys we went snorkeling off of my local beach. There is a reef a few yards out from shore and we take more experienced snorkelers there when they come visit. With the ocean currents and depth (roughly 12-14 feet at low tide) fins are a must and it can be tricky for weaker or younger swimmers. But it is definitely worth it and my parents and sister loved it! We saw a wide variety of fish from parrot fish to puffers to cow fish and tarpon. At one point I had moved slightly away from the group and thought I had seen a trumpet fish in a cave of the reef. As I swam down for a closer look I noticed the shape kept going and going into the crevice and I realized I was not seeing a trumpet fish but part of a much larger animal. My goggles were getting fogged so as I surfaced to clear them I called everyone over and my father dove down to the rocks for a closer look. It was the tail of a small nurse shark who was hiding out in the reef. My first in water experience with a shark! Luckily he was a baby and seemed mostly interested in hiding in his little hole. Nurse sharks are fairly common here especially on the reef and are mostly non-aggressive. We have had some bites from them but we also have idiots who try to ride them because they are so known for their mild temperment. Aside from swimming with the sea turtles in Mexico it was my most exciting snorkel yet. If the youngster's mommy or daddy had shown up I'd probably feel differently. I once encountered a barracuda roughly my own size which resulted in some fast backpedaling on my part.
Here's my attempt to blend my love for the local marine life and a more sedate style. Prints are now available in my etsy shop.