One of the most amazing places for inspiration is an Art Gallery. I had grand ideas of turning inspiration into pages, but then I kind of realized inspiration doesn’t always work like that, well not for me anyway. So I’m sharing instead some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to get to your nearest art gallery or show ASAP.

  1. Go alone and treat it as an artist date (as Julia Cameron suggests in an Artist’s Way), giving yourself permission to just wander and look at whatever draws you to it. If you are allowed you could take some images or make notes as you go.
  2. Go with a friend or family member and learn a little more about what interests them and what they are drawn to. It’s great to do and be able to talk about it later too, like a shared adventure.
  3. Have a cuppa break and a snack before exhaustion hits you. Take a few moments to reflect on how you are feeling after looking at other people’s art. Have you got any new ideas of things to try ? Will you remember them or could you jot some things down ?
  4. Set off again with renewed energy, see new things or revisit old favourites. Notice some of the words used to describe paintings.
  5. Visit the gift shop and be wowed by all the amazing books. If money were no object which book would you most love to take home with you today? Wonder to yourself why that might be.
  6. Allocate a window of time when you get home to sit with your art journal and some supplies and have a play, even if it’s sticking in a post card you bought and writing a few words.

That’s it, it’s a simple one, but a valuable one I think. Taking/making time to fill up your creative well with no expectation about when some of that inspiration will trickle or even pour out into your pages.


This post was inspired by several recent art gallery adventures with my family and by myself. For me personally, seeing art in real life is a huge inspiration and a reminder that humans have always been expressing themselves through art. My art journals are my way of venturing into visual expression and Get Messy has been such an integral part of this journey, for lots of reasons but number one is because of this community. Happy Arting Get Messy friends.


  1. Sarah Maddox

    Love going to galleries alone so you can look at the art at your own Pace and are not obliged to comment on each piece.

    • Emily@squiggleandswirl

      Yes, that can be so tiring! Or listening to someone elses comments if they have too much to say!

  2. Clare Davis Etheridge

    Good tips! I love to visit our art museum in fact I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea to visit and give myself the task of sketching something small from many paintings, a pattern, an eye, a flower etc.
    I can’t wait to go!

    • Emily@squiggleandswirl

      Ooh Clare I love that idea!!! Totally going to steal it.

  3. Kate

    This is so true! Art galleries and museums are pure inspiration for me too. I always have some ideas after seeing art.

  4. Melody Willoughby

    Oh yes! I have just discovered art galleries in my area that I did not know about even thought we have lived here for 5 years. Such a good idea, Em.

  5. Gilly Welch

    Visiting museums is always on my to do list when we go away – so many great ideas here Emily, thanks.


Emily is a young at heart, creative, grateful, happy and enthusiastic woman. Mumma to two beautiful teenagers, wife to lucky husband and furmumma to a mini schnauzer and destructive and spoilt kitty. Having recently declared herself to be a creative, she spends as much time as possible pursuing the things that bring her joy…Yay!