|'Mountain Memories' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I happened to find another quote from Degas that made me stop and think as I finished today's painting.
“It is very good to copy what one sees; it is much better to draw what you can’t see any more but is in your memory. It is a transformation in which imagination and memory work together. You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.”-Edgar Degas
|my thumbnail from the small phone photo|
For the painting in today's post I followed Degas advice quite by accident. I had a private student and we decided to do a paint-along using a photo she had on her phone. It was a scene from the Blue Ridge mountains, a place I have visited many times. We looked at the photo to create a quick thumbnail but then as we painted I could no longer see the photo.
I found myself transported to the mountains and my memories kicked in and guided my hand and my choices. I realized that I really didn't need the photo at all. I just needed to channel my memories and imagination and create an interesting composition that expressed what I was feeling. It was a wonderful feeling. I was FREE from the restraints of the photo.
Try It! Take a scene that you are intimately familiar with. You can use a photo to start the painting but then put it away and let your memories and imagination take over. See what develops. Trust yourself!
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