Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Why You Should Use Your Own Reference Photos


'Maybe Tomorrow'                  18x24             pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $350
They came to this spot every evening at precisely the same time. They had been coming for 30 years. They used to walk hand in hand now they arrive every night on a golf cart. They park and they wait. They wouldn't miss it for anything. Even if the sky was dark and gray, heavy with clouds they still came.  "Sometimes the most dreary of days ends in a beautiful sky when the sun sinks behind the trees" he told us.

So they came and they waited.  We decided to come one evening. We had been told this was the best spot on the island for the sunset. Even though it was gray and dreary we thought it might be worth a try. That's when we met them. And they told us that in their travels around the world nothing could match the sunset from this magical spot....home for them.

We didn't get a sunset that evening but we did make a memory. We met people who appreciated the quiet beauty of day's end even without a spectacular sunset. This painting is my tribute to that evening.

close up detail....a variety of marks
I have a photo of this evening....the non sunset. The photo reminds me of the hour we spent standing at the edge of the river, batting away the mosquitos as we waited along with the regulars and a friendly tabby cat.  When I use this photo as a painting reference  it allows my painting to have a story. It means something to me. It evokes strong feelings and memories.....feelings I can express in the painting. Only I can tell this story.

When you use photos that you didn't take....borrowed from image libraries or magazines or friends....you don't know the story behind the photo. You can copy it maybe even interpret it in your own way but you can never feel it the way you would if it was a photo of your very own memory.

Your paintings deserve their own story. Make a commitment to use your own photos.

Today's painting was the end of session 18x24 demo I did for my Wednesday morning pastel class. Thank you to a great group of artists!  (Uart 600)



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