How do you find that personal creative place inside yourself when you approach an empty canvas? Once you know what you want the subject to be, how do you find that place deep inside that allows you to interpret it your own way? What can you learn from others to make it happen?
Looking at the work of others to see how they might have interpreted a subject and trying their techniques, copying the work of master painters is all a part of the process of growing as an artist. So is taking workshops from established artists to learn new ideas and methods of working.
Doing, and reading, doing, and studying, doing, and experimenting is really what ensures you'll develop your own artistic voice. All said, it's mostly in the doing, and doing again.
There’s a fine line between what’s really yours and what really belongs to someone else. While you can learn from imitation, continually feeding off another's creativity will sap your energy like an infection.
I've been playing with the palette knife, and looking at any number of boat paintings. Today's painting most assuredly has become Homer's Boat.