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Sunday, May 08, 2016

How to Get Inspired to Get Back to the Easel


'Lace and Clover'         12 x 12       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
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 My easel has been lonely. I don't think I have painted in my studio in about 6 weeks!  I have not been without inspiration though. I have also been painting....just not at home in my studio.  Today I am home and will be here for a few weeks before my next adventure. I threw in my laundry and decided I needed to break the ice and paint something at my easel. The rest of the chores would have to wait!

Stepping up to my easel after this long break felt a bit awkward. What would I paint? How big? What subject? I hesitated for a moment. I needed some inspiration....or did I?

I decided to dive right in and finished a painting that I had started and put aside. The underpainting was done. I wasn't particularly inspired by it and I didn't even have the original reference photo. But once I picked up a pastel and put it to paper, the hesitation was over. The spark quickly lit a fire and I was in pastel heaven!


oil stain underpainting on Uart paper


"Don't wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working."  Henri Matisse


As I painted I was thought of a favorite quote on inspiration  from Henri Matisse. He reminds us that inspiration comes from working. Once we start painting or drawing or planning a painting the inspiration and motivation to paint and finish will come. Sometimes we think that we need to wait until just the right circumstances to paint...that we need to paint only when we feel strong passion and excitement for a subject. Those moments are certainly magical but they don't always happen.

Sometimes just breaking the ice and painting something will open up the floodgates to further inspiration and ideas. So what are you waiting for? It is time to paint something!


close up detail
Thank you for following along with my recent adventures. I have received many emails and comments and I am  answering them as fast as I can.  I appreciate your feedback and questions!

3 comments:

Sandi G said...

Karen,you inspire!

robertsloan2art said...

So true! It works every time. It's sometimes why I go back to just sketching my cat. I won't know till afterward that was improvement - and as soon as I get my health back I need to try to paint my cat in pastels again, think I'll do better with him. It's been too long.

One of the things I do to keep going, which may be a reaction to unpredictable health problems, is to go right to the center of my comfort zone - favorite "easy" medium (whatever my body is saying is easiest, sometimes small and clean pen-watercolor miniatures, sometimes fast but loose pastels), familiar favorite subject, familiar techniques. I wind up seeing a difference once it's done and earlier iterations are surprisingly clumsier. But that gets me over a gnawing fear of not being able to do it well or complete it on a bad day.

pattisjarrett said...

This is lovely! Great advice from Matisse, I'll share it with my writers group, too.