What sparks creativity?

Does creativity ever happen spontaneously without something to ignite it? Not usually for me at least. I seem to need to see something to spark an idea in me for a piece of artwork, even if it is just a simple shape.

For example, my “Gaudy Gaudi” piece began with a dining room in Gaudi’s La Pedrera apartment building in Barcelona. The ceiling was sculpted with plaster into beautiful curves around a central light fixture. I used that ceiling motif as the basis for the edges of the magenta background in my piece. I made other organic doodles that, when repeated around around a circle, became the design.

Another example for a future quilt is this photo of a leafless tree/bush with all its gnarly, knobby branches. This was taken on a walk in my neighborhood. I drew the basic shapes of the branches on a sketchpad. I am not sure exactly where this will go, but I think it provides an interesting platform for an abstract design.

And how about this newspaper ad for a Tiffany diamond engagement ring? The shapes and shades of all the facets seem ready made for a pieced quilt!