Kimberly Forness Wilson Abstract Watercolors

What Inspires An Artist?

Have you ever looked at an artists’ work of art and wondered what inspired them? What personal impulses guide them to choose the style, medium, subject matter, and forms they use to express themselves? What do they strive to convey to viewers?

The banner image is a painting by Kimberly Forness Wilson.
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Carolyn Cohen

Carolyn Cohen
Carolyn Cohen, The Lost (Boy), hand embroidered batik, 20” x 14”.

Carolyn Cohen’s work consists of batiks that have then been hand painted and hand embroidered. The processes are layered together in the same way that the colors are layered, making it difficult to see where one stops and the next begins.

The artist has a powerful purpose for creating the art she does. “The subject matter of my work is the brutalization of women, children and LGBTQ individuals throughout the world. They provide faces to those who are faceless, nameless and powerless. and comment upon the blind eye that is turned to those who are suffering.”

The beauty that the process bring to the images creates a tension with the savagery of the subject matter; in admiring the works, the viewer becomes almost complicit in the abuse.

Carolyn Cohen won an Artist Showcase Award in the Manhattan Arts International Hot Topics – Bold Expressions exhibition.

Casey Shannon

Casey Shannon
Casey Shannon, Peace, Sumi ink and Japanese Watercolor on Mulberry Paper, 18″ x 14″.

Sumi-e is a 2,000 year-old art form of Japanese brush painting, spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Although Shannon follows the traditional sumi-e principles and philosophies she pushes beyond the traditional limitations of this specialized ancient method.

As a devoted student of Western painting and of Eastern ink painting Shannon  creates her own unique contemporary style that merges East with West. The artist has the ability to express the essence and poetry of her subjects that originate from a pure and joyful heart. Her  magical images leap off the paper and become cherished, timeless treasures.

“Sumi-e expresses the character and soul of the artist. It is a meditative process that I consider spiritually personal. Understanding this concept is the center of my art. I strive to ‘become one’ with the object in the painting. I continue to increase my understanding of the secret of beauty, grace and elegance with each painting.”

Diane Husson

Diane Husson
Diane Husson, Ancient Wisteria Bench, welded steel frame with fiber reinforced concrete, 75″ x 45″ x 16″.

To create her nature-inspired sculptural art Diane Husson uses the rare process of concrete “faux bois” (“false wood” in French). It involves the adept layering of concrete over a steel armature.

After 10 years as a painter and illustrator she took a  tile-making workshop which inspired her to  study figurative sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

“As a sculptor, I am constantly drawn to the haunting quality of that crossroads where nature whispers about the spiritual world,” she explains.

Husson intends for her sculptural forms to “emerge as artifacts from an ancient civilization where the boundaries between nature and the spirit world were paper thin, and some secret wisdom is waiting patiently to be rediscovered.”

Sue Miller

Sue Miller, Havana in Transition, oil, 20" x 32".
Sue Miller, Havana in Transition, oil, 20″ x 32″.

Miller’s main focus is urban landscapes and she excels at recreating the unique color and characteristics and cultural aspects of the locale she visits. She states, “Inspired by places I have visited, I aim to capture the effects of light on colors and forms as I have witnessed all over the globe. ”

She takes time mixing colors to achieve the ideal hue and tone, and explains, “For me, painting provides a total break from reality, by immersing my energies, thoughts, and complete focus into the time and place of the work’s subject.”

“Painting has helped me to indulge in a deeper mindfulness while visiting new locations around the world. This has allowed me to better absorb and appreciate the full experience of what I have seen, heard, and felt—to more fully perceive and understand each unique and inspiring place.”

Esther Sternberg

Esther Sternberg, "Ocean 2015", oil on canvas, 30" x 40".
Esther Sternberg, Ocean 2015, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″.

New York artist Esther Sternberg creates expressive and colorful paintings of landscapes, water scenes, florals and portraits. Born in Russia, she has lived in Poland and Israel. Her diverse cultural background has influenced her unique, bold style as a contemporary Impressionist.

Sternberg takes photographs that interest her, and then she loads up her brush and palette knife with oil paint on canvas to bring a rich impasto effect that begs to be touched.

She explains, “I love the pureness of pigment, the richness of oil paint, and its soft texture when I mold it on the canvas.” She strives to bring an interplay of intense movement to her art work, arranged in dancelike forms, and to convey the emotion and moods of her subjects.

Kimberly Forness Wilson

Kimberly Forness Wilson
Kimberly Forness Wilson, Animagination, watercolor and gouache, 24″ x 20″

Kimberly Forness Wilson is a multi-talented artist, singer/songwriter and inventor. Her whimsical and dreamlike abstract paintings radiate a symphony of color, movement and fluidity.

Inspiration for her art originates from nature, music and dreams in addition to her cultural influences that include Scandinavian, Native American, Hawaiian and Asian.

She states, “There is frequently an inner musical accompaniment so I move between art, lyric and song. It is an ecstatic experience and I hope it translates to the viewer.”

A strong motivation behind her art is her belief in the healing power it provides.  Her personal transformation evolved over the years when the arts appeared to be “the only powerful tool for her personal change and healing.”  She shares the healing power of the creative process in her art and healing workshops.


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