Getty Center panorama / Virginia Hein

Inspiration from Above

my name is: Virginia Hein

i make: Drawings, paintings and sketches, though I can’t always separate those things. Most all of my personal work is done on location…since several years ago my work left the confines of the studio. I love the focused attention of observing a place, and everything that makes it distinct, as well as the immediacy and the unpredictability of observing and drawing life as it happens.

i’m sharing: A watercolor panorama of the Getty Center.

what inspires me about the getty: Aside from the fact that the Getty has had some truly wonderful shows, like the recent Turner and Andrea del Sarto exhibitions, I am always inspired by the site itself.

Taking the tram up the hill feels like I’m approaching a marble temple high on a hill with that marvelous 360° view (I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way). The grounds, garden and buildings with their sculptural light are always a pleasure to wander (and sketch!).

I’ve always appreciated that the Getty maintains a gallery dedicated to drawing, where I’ve seen so many inspiring master drawings.

to me, inspiration is: I love that the word that means something that moves one to create—is the same word as the act of breathing in. When I have really been inspired in my life (as when I was moved to begin a daily practice of drawing on location), it was as if a window was suddenly opened, and fresh air came pouring in.

The imagination is fueled and new possibilities seem to appear. Creative fuel and breathing seem to me to be equally necessary to sustain life.

Published by

Paula Carlson

I've been a web developer with the Getty's web team since 2000. Technical questions or comments about the site's functionality can be directed to me. Priority will be given to those emails that agree the Red Sox are the greatest team in baseball history.