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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finding A Painting Subject that Speaks to You

'Desert Color'        4x4      oil on panel      ©Karen Margulis

What is your most favorite subject to paint?  I have always found it hard to decide. So many things interest me. I don't believe we have to choose only one subject. Why not experiment and paint what you are drawn to? You will figure out if it is a good fit.  The more you paint, the more you will understand what speaks to you. You will know!

For some artists, it isn't about the subject matter at all....it might be about the light or the shapes or line quality that excites them to want to paint a certain thing.  In yesterday's post I talked about finding our Visual Voice. I shared when I discovered the subject that really spoke to me and that was Queen Anne's Lace.  But as I reflect on this discovery and try to understand what it means I realize that it isn't just Queen Anne's Lace that I want to paint with passion.

For me it is about finding the beauty and the interesting in the most unexpected places.  Those places that are often overlooked. They are the places and things I want to paint.  My husband calls them my weed paintings. Many people overlook the patches of wildflowers that grow along the roads and in parking lots. But to me they are just calling out to be painted.

'A Splash of Red'     5x7    pastel   Bid here
'Sego Lily Blooms'      5x7      pastel    Bid here
I find I am drawn to these overlooked and passed over places. I always manage to find something intriguing.  Take the desert....another one of my favorite places.  When I tell people I love the desert, not everyone gets it. "It's just all dry and brown" they tell me.  But I know better. The desert is filled with subtle beauty such as these cactus blooms. As Renoir said,

"There isn't a person, landscape or subject that doesn't poses at least some interest - although sometimes more or less hidden.   When a painter discovers this hidden treasure, other people immediately exclaim at it's beauty"  Pierre Auguste Renoir

If you need help in figuring out your visual voice I recommend the book 'Finding Your Visual Voice' by Dakota Mitchell.


Susannah said...

Another perfect blog posting. Thanks Karen! Your blog enriches my life.

Karen said...

Thank you Susannah! I appreciate your reading it!!

pattisjarrett said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I like finding the overlooked beauty, too, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Maybe that's why I am so drawn to your paintings.