Natasha Isenhour at the Canyon Road Spring Festival May 6th and 7th
When someone asks where I get my inspiration, I really don’t have a canned or predictable answer. Depending on the day, I may say music, or a poem... or you may hear me say blue, the sky or laughter. Every time I sit down and try to articulate an answer to that question, I am stumped as to how to put it into words.
I work full-time in the studio, and moonlight as an artist during all my waking hours outside of that comfortable nest of creativity. I have an unstoppable stream of visual inspiration living in the southwest. There are animals galore, sunsets, storytelling adobe ruins, the changing light of the seasons and more landscape that I could ever hope to absorb in a lifetime. All of these elements are present for me when I step up to the easel regardless of the subject that takes its place in the composition as I begin working.
People often ask if I know what colors I will use before I begin. The answer is “no.” More often than not, I step up to the oil box or the pastel box and allow myself to be inspired by a color, then, as in any relationship, one thing leads to another. I try to leave preconceived notions of an ideal finished product somewhere inaccessible so I can allow my passion and emotion to drive the work. I often feel that the subject matter that I use in my work is merely a catalyst to convey emotion through color. You see a bird, a horse or a staircase; I see my heart.
Whether in oil or pastel, my technique begins with the perfect substrate. Then it is color on color on color until I get the rich, crisp combination that succeeds in expressing what I can’t find words for. I am also a writer and a musician, and I often refer to my paintings as picking up where the words and notes fall short.
So I suppose you could say that what inspires me is the last thing I painted. Creativity for me breeds itself. The more I paint, the more I know that there is no end to the inspiration for the next blank canvas.”