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George Carruth on Inspiration

Every artist eventually meets a collector and admirer of their work that asks what inspired them to create this or that piece of art. Perhaps you have wondered this about some of my pieces or why something looks a certain way. What inspires me? I've always been daydreaming when I should be paying attention. As a result, I'm constantly aware of my surroundings: Sounds, textures, people. So when it comes time to sketch out an idea, I have huge amounts of unrelated images floating around in my imagination. Usually I'm drawn to a texture or shape that seems interesting. Sometimes it's a scene or emotion. Anyway, something always bubbles to the surface and I'm never sure what it might be.

Who do I hope to reach? If you look at my sculptures, they almost have a children's book quality. Every piece has a little story going on. Look closely for added details. Insects, tiny flowers, tiny objects and most of all, eye contact and body language. With all of these subtle images, most people are drawn into the scene by something THEY can relate to. I'm not choosing an audience. I'm piecing together images that tell a story. Sort of a snapshot, or starting point. Now it is up to the audience to dig into their memory bank and imagine what the rest of the story might be.

How did I get started? I've always been pretty good at observing. I'm also a quiet and often shy person. Maybe art is my way of communicating without words. I had no idea anyone could make a career in art. It was something I did to pass the time and it was interesting and challenging to work with different art materials. It was suggested I go to an art college after high school. From that point on I knew art was real, not just dabbling with paints for fun. By real, I mean that someone can challenge themselves in a given medium to tell a story through color or texture. The prize is when other people respond and enjoy the story and the medium that tells it.

What do I hope to communicate? My goal is to share stories and images that make me smile. As I said earlier, my sculptures have a storybook quality to them. The viewer can observe all of the subtle clues sculpted into a scene, and feel as though they can relate to what is happening. It reminds them of something they might have seen or experienced. I'm sure you noticed that animals, nature and folklore are the themes that turn up in most of my sculptures. I guess I'm still a small child at awe of nature.