8.09.2013

Inspired By: Artist Karina Bania (+ A Completely Killer Giveaway)

Karina's "Summertime," 12x12, acrylic on canvas.

Every single time I read one of the inspiring, thought-provoking posts on artist Karina Bania's blog, Curate the Day, I find myself nodding in vehement agreement. In fact, many times I've silently declared her my soul sister, so moved she is by the very same things that make me tick/feel alive/just plain happy (e.g. Big Sur, simplicity, slowing down, creating with her childrenthe desire to be "present"). Heck, even her "About" blurb resonates for me in a way that very few things on the interwebs do:

"I see things in things that are not always about those things and they inspire me. I am a collector, a painter, and deeply interested in how people leave their mark in the world. I love moving things around and wandering through words + places to feel alive."

So when I was pondering subjects for this latest "inspired by" post, the immensely talented painter was the very first person to pop into my head.

Karina posing with her work

In addition to agreeing to share the things that inspire her creatively, Karina has gone way above and beyond and offered to giveaway one of her beautiful paintings, Summertime, pictured in the first photo above.

To enter, just sign up for Karina's newsletter at: karinabania.com/newsletter and leave a comment on this post telling me what's inspiring you of late by next Thursday, August 15 at midnight CT. 

I'll announce the winner on next Friday's "inspired by" post. Good luck!


1/Debbie Millman Look Both Ways 2/ Karina on a camel in Rajasthan 4/ Magazine tears 5/ Trevor Triano 6/ Landon Metz's studio


  1. Words. I read a lot, and if I have a compulsion to buy anything, it's usually books. The perfect book title, a few words on a page, poetry, the oddly phrased sentence or thought, can spark a whole series of paintings. Words are very visual to me.
  2. Travel. Exploring new corners, taking unknown roads, and living in different cultures is definitely at the top of my list. I spent a year living in India where I volunteered, studied and deeply soaked in a different sense of place.
  3. Structure. I often see the lines of a dress, a layout in a magazine, or the composition of a photograph abstractly. Structure, balance, proportion, pattern, color, and the play of light all catch my eye daily. 
  4. Empty Spaces and Solitude. Alone time. I like a lot of it (not that I get a lot with two littles). I like it so much that I even enjoy looking at pictures of it. I have a pinterest board named 'alone' and one named 'empty spaces.' Even looking at other people being alone makes me feel good.
  5. Artwork. I grew up in a house with a lot of original art. Many pieces hold really good childhood memories. I love galleries, museums, and spend a lot of time looking at how artists create and am constantly inspired by other artists' work.
  6. Nature. I am a total nature girl. I love camping, kayaking, trekking, and simple meandering walks in nature.
  7. My Family. They're my everything. A constant source of inspiration, chaos, and laughter.
  8. Yacht Rock. There I said it. If I'm uninspired or stressed, there is nothing that brings on that carefree feeling like a little Summer Breeze. Sailing, by Christopher Cross's is music to my ears.

67 comments:

Laura Wolfe said...

motivation inspires me. nothing gets done without a motivator!

autumnempire said...

I just lost myself in her blog for a much needed mid-day break. such a calm poetic simplicity. I like how she doesn't spell everything out but you get the feel and presence. beautiful. AND THEN THERE'S HER WORK. lovely and with the same poetics. Thank you for sharing the inspiration.

welliewalks said...

Gorgeous work. Inspiring words. Thank you so much for sharing her site and... WHAT!? A beautiful painting!!? WOW! Right now I am inspired by an amazing portrait photography exhibit at our beloved Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The images were lovely and thought provoking, but the words of the photographers opened doors to halls of thought beyond. I am also inspired by the food growing in my yard at filling the farmer's market right now. The extra rain has our tomato plants growing noticeably each day. Plus I just can't wait to see what will be new at our favorite farmer's stand each week!

charlotte said...

salt air and sand between my toes

Dee Anne Simonton said...

NPR's "On Being" is inspiring me lately, particularly the interview with Marie Howe.

Hilary said...

WOW! Incredibly generous.

I'm currently inspired by creative people who make big plans and then get the work done. You know the kind of person I mean? They somehow cross that line of dreaming and doing. They are my role models.

JWK said...

Lately I've been inspired by my own home. I've been editing, sprucing, and crossing things off my DIY list that have been hanging over my head for way too long. With baby 3 coming in a few months, it feels good to simplify and de-clutter!

Heather Paulding said...

This is a killer giveaway! The imperfect perfection of everday life and my boys:) xo

hef117 (at) gmail (dot) com

johanna said...

beautiful!

I'm inspired by my 5 year old son's inability to see the proverbial "red lights" or hear his brain telling him "no that won't work" when brainstorming ideas for art projects or things he would like to build. I'm trying to take a page from his book and look at life through the eyes of an unstoppable 5 year old boy

Jennifer said...

Wow, such a generous giveaway! I'm currently inspired by foraging. We were up in Vermont last weekend with friends and I found my first chanterelle (and many more -- enough for an amazing risotto)! We followed up with blueberry picking. it reminds me of all the wonderful things out there...you just have to look carefully to find them.

katie//salt+pine said...

I love Karina's artwork! Her blog is so inspiring--every time I visit it, I come away relaxed and validated. I'm also inspired by my youngest kiddo. The way she sees the world? Amazing.

curiouscovetous said...

Currently inspired by my boyfriend's never ending support of me. It makes me want to be better all the time. Great giveaway Joslyn! xx

L. said...

I'm inspired by my best friend's big move to Kenya for her job - and all women who commit themselves to their work in a big way. Love these "inspired by" posts!

MeganPena said...

Thanks for profiling such a great artist! That, in and of itself, is inspiring to me :)
Megan
artbymegan.com

Maressa said...

I am continuously inspired by my daughter. Thanks!

Rosa said...

Riding my bike at night feeling the cool summer breeze on my face...thoughts come and go, creativity abounds.

Hayley said...

What a wonderful new artist/ blog find! Added to my reader immediately.

I am totally inspired by my daughter's love for swimming. She had a slow start getting comfortable in the pool, and some high-anxiety swimming lessons- but suddenly this summer it all clicked and I cannot keep her out of the pool or ocean. It has been incredibly fun and rekindled my joy for swimming as well.

Cheers!

mb said...

Deep, long Summer shadows late in the day. It makes me want to pull out my paints.
mb

Shelley Lane Kommers said...

my gosh, what stunning artwork, and what a generous giveaway! inspiring me lately: the art, curiosity and creativity of my beautiful almost-eight-year-old daughter. xoxo

Clare Tisdale said...

What a beautiful painting! I'm looking forward to learning more about Karina's art and life philosophy.

sadie said...

Thanks for introducing me to another talented artist. Her blog is like a breath of fresh air and I totally identify with her need for alone time and how difficult it is to get that time with two littles.
I live by the beach and this time of year I am inspired by the colors of the sea and whatever washes up.....

Anncherkis said...

My 5 year-old daughter's love of life and her sense of wonder. It helps me look at the world more closely, which I don't do enough.

sveta_goryun said...

All I see and hear,
that's all can inspire me)))
My family, nature, books, design and so on..)))

christa said...

Right now I am inspired by the cool Santa Fe nights. The sky and quiet are moving. I love the beautiful work and these inspired posts!

jen poole said...

Lovely post. Curate the Day is a beautiful blog. I really enjoyed reading about where she draws inspiration.

Lately I'm inspired by simplicity. Things that are natural and uncomplicated.

heidi said...

hot coffee or tea, museums (lacma), books, fiona apple, the horizon, charles bukowski, ee cummings, a moment alone, karina bania among others!
lovely post!

Patty said...

I'm an architectural designer in Cambridge, MA and my clients inspire me every day! The best part of my job is creating spaces that incorporate beloved objects clients have collected over a lifetime.

Bonnie Cauble said...

Lately I've been inspired by the shifting light, at least in Chicago it's starting to feel like early fall -- the evenings are coming earlier and the nights are starting to get cool.

Me said...

What an amazing giveaway! Karina's work is beautiful, and her blog is inspiring. Lately, I've been inspired by late summer thunderstorms. I live in the desert, and we have been in the midst of a horrible drought for several years. In the past several weeks, though, we have finally been getting beautiful, soaking monsoon rains. Not only is the sky magical as a storm rolls in, but it has also been enchanting to watch the desert come back to life again. After being brown and dusty for so long -- seemingly devoid of life -- the rains have made it explode with flowers and green sage. It looks, and smells, like new life.

Lil Muse Lily said...

i love Karina's blog and art.
the beach and nature always inspire but lately i have been very inspired by semi precious stones and bright colors.

Unknown said...

Such beauty to behold on a Monday morning! Thank you for sharing Karina's words and stunning visual talents. I'm inspired lately by simply, change: the end of summer and start of the new school year, it's change that I look forward to and it intensifies the little electric current of my actions and thoughts...I've been buying supplies, making art, trying new recipes, rearranging rooms, making long-term plans. I love this in-between season.

BloomsBloomsBlooms said...

Currently inspired by all of my new student in my classroom this year- they have such tenacity that motivates me each day.

Elizabeth Rue said...

Signing up now. Inspiring me of late: good books and Day of The Dead Art.

annton beate Schmidt said...

thank you for guiding me to Karina's world. I know how much nodding inside I did, since wandering around her blog!

Juree said...

color! and organizing my new art studio so that my toddler daughter can paint with me....
Love Karina's work!

wagonlover said...

Lately I find my garden is inspiring me. I have been cooking from it and it's great not to rely on the same old meals.

carrie said...

thank you for introducing me to her blog! i'm inspired by my 21-month-old twin daughters. seeing the world through their eyes is like being reborn.

Natasha said...

Wow - this is gorgeous! I already know exactly where I would hang it :) Right now Im inspired by the beautiful Summer rains we've been having here in Dallas!

regina carter said...

my child is hugely inspiring to be the best i can be!

becca said...

what a generous gift to give the world. certainly must be a peek at karina and how she leaves her mark. i'd love to be the caretaker of her piece.

i'm currently being inspired by the power of reinvention. it's amazing that we have the luxury to change our lives and ourselves in so many positive ways.

MaryJane Boltz said...

Lately I've been SO inspired by seeing women that I admire building and growing small business around their passions that in the last month I've been convinced to take the plunge myself. I'm hugely inspired by indigenous textiles and long-held craft traditions, so that is what I my own business will celebrate and support, fingers crossed!

torrie said...

karina's words touch me to the very depths of my soul. they pull out my own words, taking them from jumbled-stream-of-conscious-semi thoughts to clear, authentic expressions.

that is honestly what i am currently inspired by. writers... such as karina.

stephschneider said...

I have been inspired by city life lately - the hustle and bustle, the systems always at work, lines and big buildings. The hum of a city is comforting.

Pink and Green Mom said...

I'm inspired by my kids and the things they do and say!

Susan said...

The ocean.... And my kids swimming in it...

Sarah York said...

Travel and new experiences are always inspiring. I'm still living off a recent trip to Turkey. Looking back at the pictures and reliving the memories is the next best thing to being there again.

This giveaway is awesome, that painting is so gorgeous.

Mia said...

My weekend hikes are inspiring me lately... they clear my head of all my troubles & I always come away from them with new ideas / new perspectives on existing ideas. :)

molly lubs tompkins said...

we are in the middle of a move to maine and the postive vibes my daughter is giving is providing me with inspiration. after a day of unloading one of three pods and living in an overall disarray with boxes stacked high my four-year-old daughter exclaimed, "this is the best day ever". i'm sure i gave her a quizzical look as if to say what planet are you living on. then she went on to say why it was the best day. meeting our nice new neighbors, having pizza with the family, and getting to sleep on a blow-up mattress in sleeping bags. she enlightened me and made me realize what is important and for that i am grateful:)

Ellen said...

I am inspired by my 5 year old son's love of nature. As I write this - he is at camp with his father in Maine, watching for meteors and whales.

Karrlin Bain said...

As of late I have been inspired by friendships in life... so many wonderful people to connect with and share this journey with... including developing friendships with family.

pam said...

I was inspired by a recent visit to the High Line in NYC- the thoughtful, beautiful yet utilitarian re-purposing, and the juxtaposition of natural and industrial features.

Phillipa A said...

I love this painting - slowly adding art to our home, I love this piece. After a long hiatus, in part due to a tone deaf boyfriend, rediscovering how much music means to me and adds to my quality of life is a big inspiration - just listening to music, making play lists and discovering new artists is making me really happy. Also my mum, we argue a lot and discovering more about her background and upbringing (in Civil War Spain) has been enlightening and deeply moving!

180360 said...

Killer giveaway! I've been admiring Karina's work ever since we started following each other on IG. I'd LOVE to own one of her gorgeous paintings!

I just had a baby two weeks ago, so I'm feeling more tired than inspired as of late. :) That said, I've been really cognizant of being in the moment and remembering to savor these early days. I was always thinking ahead and rushing to the next stage with my other two children. In fact, I'm always going, doing, thinking, working, traveling, etc.

As this is my last baby, I want to take it all in stride. There's no need to rush or worry about what's not being done (for once!) I know I can't get this time back, so I'm going to put all my focus on reveling in it. And that's kind of inspiring to me!

Jill said...

Creative folks inspire me! Thanks for the chance to win this inspirational piece!

Karena said...

Stopping. Just stopping and breathing. And looking. And inhaling a big breath. And experiencing those things--a delicate sliver of light cast through a window, the sweet smell of a lavender bush you pass, the sound of a birds wings as it flies above you. It's all pretty spectacular, if you think about it.

Sheepskins Fairylights said...

Blues as accents around my home.

The sea, anywhere, the colour's, the sounds, the movement, the power, the peace.

"Vikki, are you okay.... You're very quiet? "

" Of course, just look around! "

dacy said...

Change is inspiring me right now. The ability to do new things means I can have a bit of a new look. To find specific interest for that, I always end up back at pinterest.

Modern Frills said...

The colors of fall have been inspiring me lately. Black on black, dark blues and camel browns. The Texas heat is stopping me from dressing for fall but I am anxiously waiting for the cool weather to arrive. Unfortunately, I fear the wait will be quite long:(

Thanks for the amazing giveaway. I have a perfect place in my living room for this beautiful piece of art!

Kristina

Meredith said...

What a beautiful painting! My current inspiration: simplicity--specifically as I work to methodically simplify the spaces in my home, the idea of creating "little alters everywhere" for my treasures in the newly simplified home, sewing, the cooler weather, backyard farming, my baby girls, the unabashed color combos of toddler outfits, my camera, running in the early morning.

Jennifer said...

youth inspires me as of late.... my own 2 kids and the students I teach.
I love how open the are---so curious, untethered, confident and believing that all things are possible.
Believing...truly believing, is such an important part of making something possible.

coffeegirl40 said...

This week my kids have been inspiring me with their enthusiasm for the new school year. They are excited to be back in a routine, see old friends, meet new friends and get to know their teachers. Each afternoon they have come home with so much to share about the day, what they are learning, projects they will be working on...it's amazing to see and I can't help but be inspired by them. It motivates me to do more!

Wendy said...

- simplifying, maintaining, and evolving
- deep dark slate blue
- the air of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the colors Moab Utah and the people of the Basque Country
- modern boxwood gardens
- energy and innocence of my 3 boys

….inspire and motivate me.

near and far said...

I am inspired by silence. When there is too much noise to focus, the only thing to focus on is silence. Right now it's the most fertile place ideas come from.

Pat said...

Interestingly enough, this is something I've been thinking of quite a bit. For the past several years I've been researching my family and have been blown away by what I've learned about my ancestors. At the same time, I have become a grandmother. I am finding myself, simultaneously looking at the past and the future. Both these journeys inspire me to experience the present which is pretty damn wonderful!

Lori said...

This week I'm inspired by watching my son learn to dive into the pool!

JanjaBe said...

Honestly, it has been Karina that inspired me this summer. It started with her April 8 post with the quote from Ira Glass. I shared it with my women's artist group and it literally opened a flood of creativity from a group that had been "stuck" for much too long. Then her May 20 picture of her daughter... The textures, the light - it was so visceral I could smell the sunshine in the air and it took me back to the endlessness of summer days as a child. And finally, when I need to reconnect to my creativity, visiting her paintings fills me with a physical whoosh and a hum that opens everything up within me. Magic!

Claire said...

Charles Mingus said "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple." Simple is always inspiring to me.