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Saturday Campfire Chat – The Artist Inspiration with Stefan Baumann

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist”
-Oscar Wilde
After one of coldest winters that we have ever experienced at The Grand View
Ranch, the snow has finally melted. The days are getting longer and the sunsets
are brighter than ever. We have spent all day gathering the fallen wood that broke
off the trees when the snow fell. It is the perfect size of wood for burning when we
have our first weekly gathering around the campfire and my friends, some artists,
and some art collectors get together to discuss art and the meaning of life.
It’s Time
The evening sky turns from cadmium yellow to magenta with a magnificent display
of spring light that transitions our day into darkness. A blanket of stars begins to
appear behind the silhouette of the Trinity Alps. As the warm spring sun disappears,
the temperature drops. My guests and I all huddle together under our Hudson Bay
Blankets sipping homemade cocoa with marshmallows. The fire burns bright and
illuminates the dark forest around us. I suggested that it’s time to get our prochade
boxes out of winter storage and defrost our paints tubes so that we can enjoy the
spring weather and do some Plein Air painting.
The Question
Jan, one of the artists that was in the campfire group said, “Why do I even bother to
paint? Everything has been painted! There are no new ideas and there are so many
artists who paint so many things. Does the world need any more paintings? With
the internet bombarding our senses, why do we even bother?” At that moment all
my guests turned their heads in my direction with anticipation, as they sat pensively
waited for my reply. “Jan,” I said, You lack Inspiration!
Inspiration Is a Gift
I thought for a moment, took a sip of my cocoa and placed it down on a stump near
the fire to keep it warm. Then I stood up to address my campfire audience.
“Inspiration is a gift that must be given back to exist,” I replied. “In order for
inspiration to be present, one must have desire. It’s the combination of ideas,
images and desire that have to be present before inspiration can exist. Yes,
there are many artists, but you are unique. We all experience the world differently,
and being able to connect the world with your ideas is what makes your experience
unique. It’s your history from birth that provides you with a perspective that is
completely your own. The uniqueness of your ideas connects to images that you
experienced growing up. And living your life becomes something that no one else
has ever experienced before. You are able to contribute a new Idea to others that
they can attach to their images to. This enriches their experience of living by
allowing them to see beauty that they have never seen before. And this inspires
them to inspire others;
Desire to Share
When we choose to be an artist, we experience a desire to share beauty with
others. Inspiration is worthless without the desire to share it. Whether artists choose
to create music, drama, or paintings, they are driven to share, to communicate the
personal beauty they experience, and to give it back to others. This inspiration
comes to us like a whisper, a glimmer and then explodes into a whirlwind of ideas.
These ideas stir our minds and linger in our hearts and souls until we pick up a
brush and push it onto the canvas for the world to see. This connection leads the
artist to explode into passionate moments of creativity that are truly theirs and truly
Inner Compass
You have to be at your easel to create when inspiration hits. When we sit down
each day at our easels and paint, we become a lightning rod for inspiration that
motivates the creativity within us. Being in a car or at a restaurant gives us no
opportunity to create. But when we are at the easel, we channel the energy of
inspiration and focus it on our paintings. Inspiration is an inner compass that points
us in a direction that our creative energy wants us to go. Creativity relies on
everything you are and everything you have ever experienced to connect to the
idea you have now. Then, with desire, you transform this idea into art that inspires
The Best
There are always more people buying art than those who create it, experience that
with the Internet, some target marketing, and a little time, you will soon find an
audience that connects with your message and will eagerly be there to acquire an
original painting. There are millions of people looking for inspiration. The trick is to do it well and do it the very best that you can. Then you will just like you and they will find it in what you paint today, or tomorrow when you go out to paint your very first Plein Air painting in the spring!
Get It Now
Information about coaching is located under the heading Coaching on my website If you are interested in coaching, give me a call at 415-606-9074 (my personal cell number) and we can talk more about how coaching will enhance your knowledge, capabilities, and growth as an artist.
“The eyes of the world are waiting to see what you have to say.”
I have coached many students over the years. My goal as a coach is to help students discover their own style by instructing with a method that allows them to grow as they are. If you want increase your knowledge and skill to bring your art to the next level, I invite you to watch my YouTube videos, consider phone coaching with me, or attend a workshop in Mt. Shasta where we discuss art, passion and life with other artists around the campfire. All the information is on my website,
Call me for information on workshops or coaching 415-606-9074

For the Last time Stop Painting Things
In this video Stefan Baumann discusses with his students How to stop painting things

For The
Last Time Stop
Things! -

Spring Workshop
The Grand View Ranch
Wonderful things are happening at
The Grand View Ranch this spring.
There are just a few weeks until our
Spring Workshop at the Ranch begins with plein air painting at many inspiring vistas and locations that this place has to offer! It looks like the Dogwood blossoms will be extraordinary this year.
The Spring Workshop takes place on the weekend of May 17,18, and 19. I invite you to register at my website
Be part of a three-day experience that will change the way you paint forever.
But, hurry! There are only a few spots open for the Spring workshop where you will learn the secrets of how to infuse light in your paintings! This workshop will also help you to understand how light and shadow can work together to make a painting go from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Grand View | 1151 Maple St.Hammond Ranch, CA 96069

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