Photographs are Wonderful for Inspiration!
I really enjoy taking pictures, trying to capture the moment; especially when no one notices. As a kid, I went from trying to afford 110 film, flashbulb and developing; upgrading to better camera, 36 mm and development. Now I can basically take unlimited amounts of photos.
I do tend to go a bit crazy, so this year I made a limit. This was the first time I have actually been forced to delete pictures on my camera, because I ran out of memory (more then once) and had no where to download and save them. I should have gotten another card, but I was trying to limit myself to 1600 and I suffered the loss of some wonderful shots.
Pictures are my biggest inspiration. They easily show what colours, and where to put them. I can see detail, that gets missed as time goes by. At least objects in a photo do not move. As well, the subject is not inconvenienced by sitting immobile for hours, over days, possibly weeks.
My mentor showed me how the masters would draw on the canvas first. If they wanted it exact, they would make a sketch, before griding to enlarge. With photos, I employ the same techniques with the benefit of printing in greyscale. This simplifies that once complex array of colours, to just white, light grey and dark grey.
There have been some pictures I dare not paint, only because they stand alone. My daughter started taking those types of photos and transferring them onto canvas. The results are very rustic and vibrant. Some of these can be found on her etsy store, Piercing Moon Creations. She inspires me daily with her constant creativity and energy to keep making whatever she wants. Check out her blogs as she tries her hands at making new things.