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Friday, June 28, 2013

What Daily Road Trip Paintings Did for Me

'A Beautiful Journey'          8x10          pastel       ©Karen Margulis
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 On the road for 24 days and 23 road trip paintings done. The trip was a great experience that was only enhanced by taking the time to do a daily painting.  I will be writing all about what made it easy and fun to do but today I wanted to share my thoughts on how doing these painting have helped inspire me.

This morning I took the time to photograph each painting. I put them on a large piece of  foam core so that I could see them all in the order that I painted them. I was interested in seeing how they changed from day one to day 23. I discovered that something happened mid way through the trip.  I began to get bolder and more colorful in my approach. Look at the first and last road trip paintings below.

'Distant Mountain Blues'    5x7   plein air pastel #1
'Sedona Wetlands Path'      5x7      plein air pastel #23

The painting at the top of the page was done today in the studio from one of my photos taken as we approached Albuquerque. We had stopped at a rest area and I painted my first road trip painting at the picnic shelter (see above)  I thought that it would be fun to paint my first studio painting after the trip from the same place as my first road trip painting.  I discovered that I saw the place with different eyes.

  • After a month in the Southwest I was more relaxed.
  • I saw more color
  • I felt more confidence in painting what I saw
  • I understood the landscape better. We were no longer strangers.
  • I felt more freedom to interpret what I saw and interject my emotions into the scene.
I believe that painting this landscape everyday helped me understand it better. I was constantly looking and thinking about how I would paint it but actually doing it and choosing colors really helped to reinforce what I was thinking. Taking 20-30 minutes each day to paint helped me utilize all of my senses. By the end of the month I had totally immersed myself in this beautiful landscape and felt the freedom to paint it as I saw it.

Now that I am back in the studio I can't wait to see what else develops!


Mary Pyche said...

Thanks so much I really appreciate what you are saying in your blog. It is very motivating and I'm passing them on to other painters.

Karen said...

Thank you Mary! I appreciate it very much!