|'A Magnificent Day' 12x18 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
It isn't always easy to do. When returning from a workshop it is all too easy to get caught up in the business of everyday life. There are errands to run. Unpacking. Laundry. Emails to read. All of the sudden the high from the workshop has been zapped. The inspiration and excitement from the workshop experience or trip quickly fades.
Don't let it happen. Make time to paint. Make time to have some quiet reflection on the experience. Do it while the memories are fresh. Take advantage of the high to keep going. When I return from a workshop or painting trip I follow the same routine:
|'Ghost Ranch 2' 8x10 pastel plein air $150|
- The week after arriving home, I schedule myself lightly if I can. The first day home is spent on unpacking, laundry, email and any catch up duties. I download my photos. I unpack and photograph my paintings. Catch up with family and love on my pets. I am the queen of multi-tasking so I can get it all done.
- In the evenings I review and often rewrite my workshop notes. If I do it right before bed I find I percolate on the notes in my sleep. I want to revisit the notes while the information is still fresh.
- By the second day home I make time to paint. I paint both from my photos and from the plein air studies done at the workshop. I do not touch my plein air paintings. I leave them as they are....fresh from the location. If one is unfinished, I start a new painting based upon the study. I want to have the visual reminder of my experience. I don't want to overwork it in the studio losing the emotion of the moment.
- I will try to devote at least a couple of weeks to the subject matter from the trip. I like to work with it while it is fresh and while I am excited about it. It only reinforces what I experienced on location.
Painting Notes: The top painting was done in the studio from a contact sheet reference photo from Abiquiu. The bottom photo is the plein air field study from the same location. In the studio I had more time to develop the painting. I could study the cloud shapes at my leisure without them changing. The plein air study captured the light and colors of that moment. Both are on Uart paper with a value block-in with warm colors.