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Friday, November 27, 2015

How I Choose Subjects to Paint

'Taking the Back Roads'          9x12         pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available at 50% off click here for sale paintings
It can be overwhelming sometimes. How to narrow down subject matter and find things to paint? It begins with knowing yourself. Choosing things that interest and excites you is most important. We have to paint what we love.....not what we think others will want or love. So self reflection is in order if you aren't sure what subjects that excite you the most.

For me there is a simple secret to choosing things to paint. I take the back roads. I have learned that it is along the back roads that I find the things that speak loudly to me. If I can find a place away from the hustle and bustle, somewhere close to nature, then I will find my truth. I love to paint the quiet places. The places and things that are often overlooked. There is nothing more exciting to me than a dried patch of weeds! The colors and textures and mystery beg to be painted. All I have to do is slip away to these quiet places and just simply look. Beauty will be found!

'Pink Hush'        11x14       pastel

I have been going through my boxes of paintings this week in preparation for a major studio clean-up. I have uncovered paintings that I haven't had a chance to share. Some of them are just studies. Some are demos. Some were unfinished. I was struck by a common thread though.....the ones I liked the most were those paintings inspired by the back roads! I will keep this in mind the next time I am looking for things to paint!

What do you most like to paint? Where do you find your inspiration? Make time this weekend to gather some reference of your favorite subject!

'Southern Marsh'         11x14      pastel
I am sharing many of these paintings in a special Holiday Art Sale. I want to make art available to all so I am offering a selection of these original pastels for 50% off regular prices. If you make a purchase you will also be entered to win the 8x10 painting below. Sale ends Monday at midnight.

'Gentle Journey'    8x10 pastel
enter to win this painting by purchasing a sale painting 

click here to see sale paintings.
50% off selected paintings in my etsy shop. Use coupon code HOLIDAY50 at checkout

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

I often find my inspiration when nature pushes through into human spaces. Trees on the street, growing in a neat little square of soil where one piece of pavement was left out for them. Flowers in a yard narrower than the sidewalk. Piles of vegetation climbing up the highway embankment. I don't get out much, but I look for green and wildlife wherever I find it.

Seeing seagulls land among the pigeons on the street was a thrill. I even got some photos. They are magnificent birds.

When I move I'll be going farther out into the country than I've ever been. I'll have a wonderful landscape surrounding where I live and come to know that place intimately year round, painting the same trees over and over, the same birds and animals. It'll be beautiful. When life cut back on my mobility it forced closer attention to what's in reach and I sometimes paint it without the context that hems it in, just the evergreen and not the brick walls around it and the barbecue under its boughs.

Of course there's always cats! My own cat most of all, but any other cat large or small. One treat I'm really looking forward to is visiting a big cat rescue in Eureka Springs. Unlike a regular zoo trip with other people, it'll be like getting to spend the whole day in the big cats area! I love them all and it won't matter which ones feel like being visible, I'll surely be out sketching them every time I visit!