Finding Inspiration: A Secret Gallery in the Cemetery

Since I was young, I would escape to the cemeteries to be alone, strolling around searching for art and inspiration.  I once studied tombstone art in a college art history class and gained a greater appreciation for the stunning symbolism of the sculptures.

Cemeteries are secret galleries of fine art sculpture, only these galleries are free and have no crowds!

I am amazed that people don't spend more time in these hidden parks and galleries!  In the past tombstones were made as benches for people to gather around their loved ones' graves, singing and making music and telling stories.  They were lush gardens and peaceful groves (I've toured cemeteries full of heirloom roses no longer found elsewhere).  Look at the beautiful Dia de los Muertos Festival in Mexico...honoring ancestors, family unity, and our connection to those in the afterlife.

Cemeteries should be full of joyful celebration, but sadly most fear death and the loss of their loved ones...they think that death is the end.  In truth we all connect in unity after we pass on from the physical plane.  Knowledge of our connection to this One Creative Source gives great peace to the hearts of the grieving, and shatters the negative associations about death.

On this particular evening, I strolled through the cemetery neighboring my father's home, savoring the setting sun and symbolism scattered throughout the grounds.

I discovered peaceful poppies, guiding angels, ornate calligraphy and shadowy fancifulness, tiny creatures and beautiful maidens.  

My cemetery strolls are filled with a sense of peace...I feel grateful for this gift of life and appreciate the loved ones still present in my life.

Art can be found in the unexpected places we take for granted.
I search for inspiration everywhere, and I carry the magic of discovery with me to the studio.  

Where do you find inspiration?


For more on Cemetery Art, visit these links:

The Association for Gravestone Studies
Gravestone Symbolism


Listening to Untitled by The Cure

My New Blog Schedule for 2012

Mondays:  Manifesting Success - business tips, networking, treasuries, inspiring people and articles
Wednesdays:  Finding Inspiration - travel, photography, inspirational quotes
Fridays: Scenes From the Studio - the week in review, creative projects, paintings, sketchbook scenes

Be sure to check it out!
Manifesting Success in 2012!


What a lovely post- when I was in high school and early college, all my "thinking time" was spent in a cemetery and definitely my best studying was done there. I love cemeteries too; I'm very envious of that class you took, I bet it was fascinating!
Lisa D. said…
Lovely post! I think I may have to go wonder our local cemetery.
brandi said…
~you and i are much the same...i for years would go see my "nana" picnic blanket at hand and sit for was my place to escape from the world around me...when our first was born we brought him there as he grew...he became aware of this sacred place and once the car would stop...he would hop out of the car and head straight to his great great grandparents...bend down on his knees and gently clean away any depris that had fallen...truly a beautiful deep and meaningful post...much love light and blessings~
So many cemetery wanderers...and I always thought I was alone hehe! Thanks for the insights into your past!
Gloria said…
Hi Carrie. Beautiful post and am looking forward to your schedule of posts. Cemeteries are one of my escapes as well. The solitude of being there just fills me with peace.I go there from time to time and post pictures of different grave sites and found that doing research on these people and who they are is very interesting. Thanks for the great photos. I used to do my "cemetery plots" on Thursdays, but stopped for a bit. Now you've inspired me to start again. Thanks for sharing.
Victoria said…
Yay..beautiful and fabulous post! Gorgeous photos. We are such kindreds...I agree..well said! Death is a beautiful and to be celebrated and the spirit is immortal. Wonderful sharings! I love taking photos there too..I used to do alot of black and white ..I agree with is peaceful and beautiful...and your photos are stunning and full of poetry!Magnificent work!
Shine on what you are doing!
Wishing you a wonderful day!
Carly Griffith said…
yes you should definitely make cards out of the native american print! and these pictures are so great. I too love cemeteries, but feel odd telling people that. They're just so intriguing!

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