2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Tips for Choosing 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 THANKFUL50 at checkout

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

These are wonderful! I also enjoyed your lyrical description of finding the back roads. I hadn't really seen them much other than between cities for most of my life. Now in Arkansas, I'm starting to experience these quiet places in person and have more studies from life than I can count. All of which will go into serious paintings one day, perhaps next spring.

When I was in the city though, any city, I'd find those little places where weeds took hold. Parks, tiny plots, yards, cracks in the concrete. Tiny gardens and cultivated plants. Anywhere that I found something blooming I'd paint that.

Also being me, there are cats. For years and years I've painted cats and when I do urban landscapes, I want to include cats. If I put a building into a painting, it ought to have a cat in it or on the roof or wandering outside. Maybe several. I miss my beloved Ari but still have five beautiful felines to paint here, three outdoor lap addicts and two indoor white cats with gray and Siamese brown patches respectively. I'm getting photos and occasionally sketching, but definitely planning serious portraits.