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Sunday, July 15, 2012

What Can a Sea Shell Teach you about Painting?

'Magical Moon Snail'           3.5 x 2.5        pastel          ©Karen Margulis     $20

"The Sea does doesn't reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient.  To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith.  Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea."  Anne Morrow Lindbergh
As Beach Week continues I thought it was fitting to share one of my favorite quotes from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book 'Gift From The Sea'.   I like to read this book occasionally and especially when I go to the beach. I love this quote because it reminds me of an important lesson that I can apply to many things in my life ...including my painting.

'Many Moons Ago'      4x6       pastel      $35 Etsy Store
I am often impatient and maybe even anxious when I paint. I do want to paint it all and I want to learn and grow quickly!  This impatience has served me well  because it has motivated me to practice my craft. But it also can be frustrating. I know as artists we all go through highs, lows, times of great growth and work and times of plateaus where it seems as if nothing is going right.  Lindbergh reminds me to have patience and faith. If I can just keep working slowly but surely and allow myself to slow down and really let things soak in the treasures will come.

'Gift From the Sea'       5x7       pastel
Painting Shells is a great lesson in patience and slowing down.  To paint a shell you have to really observe it. The shapes, the colors, the texture....all things that need to be savored and studied.  Shells make excellent subjects. They are portable and easily arranged. They are infinite in shape and color and texture. They are so beautiful that they don't even need a background which allows the artist to concentrate on capturing the uniqueness of each shell.  Shells teach help you work on drawing. I have a sketchbook filled with drawings of shells. When painting them, you learn how to create form. You learn about using paint to create texture or the smooth shine of a cowry or a Junonia.
Next time things are frantic and you are going in too many different directions, take a deep breath, slow down and paint a sea shell.

If you liked today's post be sure to see my other Beach Week blog posts.
Painting Shadows on Sand
The Colors of Sand
Making a Beach Scene look Sunny


Shane Davis said...

Thanks for the insights, next time I'm stressed about my work I will surely try painting a shell.

Sharon Whitley said...

a great post and food for thought!

Karen said...

Thanks Shane! I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

Karen said...

Thanks Sharon! I will really be taking this to heart this week!