The Joy of Whirly Birds! (Maple Seeds)

All week long I’ve been painting whirly birds.*

That’s what I used to call maple seeds when I was young.

At this time of year when the seeds come helicoptering to the ground it’s hard not to feel a surge of childlike joy. I walk around with my eyes to the ground trying to find the most interesting ones.

And of course they make their way into paintings.

This isn’t new for me, I painted my first maple seeds seven years ago. I even created a fabric design from my whirly bird paintings.

How can I resist?

Each seed I see is unique. Each has its own charm.

Once I start looking at them and for them it’s hard to stop.

Of course I want to paint them, and once I start painting them I want to just keep going.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of inspiration. Where it comes from. How to embrace it. I think the key is to pay attention. Keeping your eyes open. Observing. Being open. To possibility.

Just like with my search for interesting maple seeds, once your eyes are open to inspiration, you’ll begin to see it everywhere. In the shape of a leaf or the color of a petal. In the pattern of a butterfly wing or the texture of a maple seed.

It’s easy to be enchanted by our magical world when we’re looking closely.

Even the most ordinary bits bring me joy.

And I hope they bring YOU joy, too.

*This series of paintings is now available in my shop.