Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #115: Inspiration

Field at Gettysburg

Inspiration and motivation may come from others, but true inspiration comes from within.

Catherine Pulsifer

Drawing inspiration from others is easy; it’s doing something with that inspiration that can sometimes be the sticking point. So, when I read Tina’s choice for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Inspiration, I considered the many people, events, and places that have inspired me, but I’ve included only a few experiences that have impacted my life in my retirement years.

Pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

Maya Angelou

People at the top of their game inspire me — like Joanne Weir who taught me the art of tagine cooking in Marrakech and now continues to instruct (and entertain) with her own TV series: Plates and Places. To this day, I love to cook (mostly Southern dishes), but it’s people like Chef Weir who have inspired me to try my hand at using different ingredients and techniques to prepare notable cuisine from other parts of the world.

Chef Joanne Weir (San Francisco) and Chef Bahija (Morocco) team up to lead a week-long cooking school at Jnane Tamsna in Marrakech.

Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.

Gregory Peck

I’ve always been a person of faith. But traveling has opened my eyes to the power of religious belief in different ways and places. When my husband and I traveled recently on a Viking cruise to ancient lands (Greece, Israel, Italy), it was structures, customs and people of various religions that inspired us to take note of the various expressions of personal faith throughout the world.

Art is not what you see but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas

Although I’m no artist, I’m inspired by those who paint. Touring museums and art galleries brings me great pleasure mainly because I love seeing the different ways artists perceive life and, in turn, represent that life on canvas or paper or walls. The work of Henry Isaacs, for example, an artist whose cheery, pastel-colored landscapes are on display at Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, inspired me to rethink colors in my own home after seeing his scenes from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and far away Nepal.

A harbor of happy colors and bold strokes by artist Henry Isaacs.

We connect with the craftsmen of the past by being the craftsmen of the future.


Old houses have always held a special place in my heart, so when we travel, I often pull over to the side of the road to capture a special vintage abode — all with the idea that it would be a fine specimen for one of my favorite HGTV shows: Fixer Upper or Good Bones or Home Town. Or wait — what about my own home? If I can be inspired by just one little project by the creative folks with “renovation vision,” it’s a really good thing? Re-doing a whole house — well, that may be a project for another time, another place.

Pale yellow fixer upper with Eastern Shore charm for sale in Onancock, Virginia.

I like that time is marked by each sunrise and sunset whether or not you actually see it.

Catherine Opie

Finally, I’m inspired by sunrises. I don’t know when I started getting up at the crack of dawn to head to some harbor or beach or farm just to catch the break-of-day sun, but now I can’t stop. I love early mornings — gentle breezes, birds chirping, and the anticipation of dawn’s early light. One of my favorite inspiration points — Monhegan Island Light, Maine — remains also one of my best photo memories since I had the hill to myself that one beautiful morning in Maine!

Monhegan Island Light, Monhegan Island, Maine at daybreak.

Photo at top: Lovely field at Gettysburg — an unexpected, inspirational, and very welcome sight!

Travel inspired,


If you’d like to join the fun of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #115: Inspired this week, write a post and link it here on Tina’s blog, Travels and Trifles. Be sure to tag your post Lens-Artists so others can find it. Watch for #116 this coming Saturday brought to you by Patti on her Pilotfish blog.

10 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #115: Inspiration

  1. Tina Schell

    Well Rusha, you have absolutely outdone yourself this week. Your images are among my favorites ever. The light is used so effectively. That last image just makes me want to climb into the image and live there forever! Dawn does have its benefits doesn’t it? Outstanding post.

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