I think all artists are a bit like magpies with all the things we see
.As I walk through life I am constantly looking whether it is on my morning walks or just doing the washing up, textures, patterns, views interest me and I store them away like a magpie for future reference.
The things I see then influence what I paint and I have to unload what i have seen and use it with paint. In this day and age I am lucky because I can take a phone with me on a walk and snap away any thing I think I may need..this has inspired a latest painting I love barbed wire and the textures and colours held within it's twisted form
Jenny's hen could well be another future portrait, snapped here on a frosty morning before the school run
I also look at so many other artists work. When we we in Paris I feasted on the impressionists at the Musee d'orsay, and marveled at their work. But I also puzzled over how similar effects could be achieved in watercolour by me.The colours of the shadows in the snow of the flowers in the fields. Similarly I can't walk past a gallery wherever it may be, without a quick glance inside to see what others are up to,
Then there are all the amazing nature documentaries on T.V. , how could I paint a zebra, a girraffe ?....my mind is constantly thinking in paint. I guess musicians or sculptures do similar things with their mediums.
So as I said just like a magpie taking influences from what I see, a frosty puddle,or a tree canopy on a bright summers day when the acid greens almost hurt your eyes, they all go into the memory banks to be withdrawn when needed.