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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Discovering Our Voice

'Desert Color'. 5x7. Pastel. Plein air

A funny thing happened to me in New Mexico. I can't really explain it but when I was out painting on location I went on auto-pilot. I was working quickly because the conditions were changing fast. Once I decided on my composition and did a quick thumbnail my thinking brain took a backseat. I can't explain how I chose the colors or how I put down my marks.

I was in that very wonderful place of responding to the scene. All of my daily painting practice and study came together. I didn't agonize or overthink things. I just painted with wild abandon and it was the best feeling in the world.

'Where the Chamisa Grows'. 8x10. Pastel

It was exhilarating while I was painting but at the end of the day nagging thoughts would crop up. 'Shouldn't I slow down and be more deliberate? Shouldn't I tone down my colors? Would it be better if I had more refinement or if I was more tonal? I shared my thoughts with Richard and I came away with the best advice. Keep doing what I am doing. It is me. My way of expressing myself. The mechanics are there and the color works. He said if it didn't work we would need a pill to fix it and I'd have to take the medicine.

That was such liberating advice! Imagine the freedom to know it's ok to be who you are! It seems we are always trying to get better but often we try to change too drastically because we think it would be better if we painted in a different way. Once we discover our voice....the style that fits us.....how much happier we will be if we work on being the best we can be without trying to change that voice!

Bloggers or future bloggers take note: this post was written on my iPad at 31,000 feet as I flew home from New Mexico. I used the Blogsy app. Blogging canbe done anywhere and I will cover this and much more on my art blogging seminar at IAPS in June!



Lee McVey said...

I enjoyed seeing your work that was clearly your voice. Richard certainly gave you good advice. Just keep going with your voice!

Eileen Sullivan said...

I love the color & looseness of "Where the Chamisa Grows." this one is really extraordinary!

Becky Williams said...

Karen, I love your painting and you postings! Keep learning and teaching but don't change you! I love the Ghost Ranch area I have visited there the last 2 years - it is inspiring!

Hélène said...

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

I agree with him ... and with you.


robertsloan2art said...

Gorgeous plein air paintings! I love how your color harmonies sing and the way you bring so much color into the paintings. You make them rejoice!

I do remember these deserts from trips when I was a kid and you bring it rushing back to me, sometimes even the smells of these places. Wow.

Marcela Strasdas said...

Thank you Karen for sharing your knowledge with us all the time! Did you look into BlogGo as well before you chose Blogsy?

Karen said...

Thank you all for the great comments! I appreciate you taking the time to share! Marcela, I have had log in problems when I try to use BlogGo so I have been using Blogsy without any issues

Marcela Strasdas said...

Thank you Karen, I post on the go a lot and I appreciate your advice! Happy Painting!