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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

When Not to Paint and What to do Instead

Sometimes I just have to let go of the urgency to paint. I am always driven and inspired to paint especially when I travel but sometimes I need to make a choice. Do I paint or do I simply explore and gather images? Most of the time when I explore a new place I choose the latter.  If I only have a short time at a place I often channel my urge to create by picking up my camera rather than a pastel.

I challenge myself to search for interesting compositions and light with my camera. I look for compelling shapes, textures and color. I try to take photos that tell a story of the place. Sometimes it is said that one recalls more when it is experienced without a camera but I find it to be just the opposite.

Using my camera allows me to immerse myself in the scene with more sensitivity. Subtle things like light on a dried seed pod might be easily overlooked. But through the lens of my camera it is elevated.


I tend to take two kinds of photos when exploring. One is when I take many photos without regard to composition. These photos are for reference. They remind me of shapes,colors, textures. I don't care if they are 'bad' photos. They serve to remind me of the place.

The second type of photo is when I am thoughtful about composing an interesting photo. I slow down and take my time looking for the right light and composition. Both types of photos will be used for paintings but it is really the act of looking for subject matter that is the key to successful future paintings. Taking photos allows me to see with more sensitivity. I can get more material in a short amount of time.

I hoped you enjoy these photos from my visit to Salida Colorado. The camera I am using is a Canon G7x.



KAS said...

Many beautiful photos here that I know you will make many beautiful pastel paintings of!

Carol Schiff said...

Gorgeous photography, Karen. You are multi talented.

CathyMozley said...

I will be spending the month of November near Salida. I hope to spend much of my time painting, trying to get my tendency to paint realistically into a more impressionistic realm.
Thank you for all of your painting tips and techniques. You are such an inspiration.

Nancy Curran said...

Capturing the light in your photos beautifully.Capturing light in your pastels you do so well, is not as easy.