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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Lesson From an Unexpected Painting

'After the Storm'          11x14             pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available $175
Sometimes you paint something ahead of your time. Did that ever happen to you? The moment when you finish a painting and look at it in awe and wonder how you ever painted it and will you ever be able to do it again?  It might not happen again for awhile. But I am convinced that those paintings are telling us something. We need to set them aside and listen to what they are saying.

I found an older painting of mine that I didn't listen to right away. Perhaps I wasn't ready to hear what it had to tell me. I was looking for a 16x20 gold frame to use at my daughter's wedding and came across the painting in the frame stacked in my storage studio space. It brought back memories. It was once my very favorite painting. (see below)

The original 'Stormy Sunset' before some minor enhancements
I can't remember exactly when I painted it but I know it was early in my pastel journey....perhaps 9 or 10 years ago. But I DO remember how I felt when I painted it. I was excited. It was so different for me. I had been painting a lot of beach scenes and animals and even still life things. This was my first attempt at 'weeds'. I had an emotional connection to the scene and treasured the bad photo I had taken of a memorable evening. I painted this scene from my heart and soul. It meant something and it showed. The painting almost painted itself!

But I didn't really listen to the message it was giving me. I kept painting the same things....beaches, birds, food.....small daily paintings. Had I studied the painting I might have discovered my truth....the subject that really makes my heart sing is wildflowers and weedy stuff! The clue showed up before I was ready to listen.

Do you have a favorite painting that surprised you? What is it telling you?

Note: I decided to add a few enhancements to the painting....things I have learned that I knew could bring the painting to life. Can you see what I added?


AFL Sports News said...

love your painting style..impressive..,)

Cheryl Swarthout said...

Karen - Thanks so much for this post. I can see why it was always a favorite and how much it foreshadowed your more recent work. I loved the before and after pictures. I can see how you added more darks to the grasses and made the pretty sky colors bolder. What really made the after picture sing was your addition of your signature "spice" marks - those bold pops of color in the grass and on some of the flowers.
This post really spoke to me as I am also going back to an older picture this week that I have never been quite pleased enough with to frame, even though I have just the spot for it. You give me lots of inspiration to have another go at it.

Wendy Adams said...

Karen, thank you SO much for all of your video and blog posts. I learn SO much from you and you are one of the people that got me the most excited about pastels in the first place
. This post is no exception. I have only been working in pastel about 18 months and just recently had a "breakthrough" experience with one of my paintings. This post was perfect and TIMELY. Even though I know you didn't, it felt like you wrote it just for me. THANK YOU! A million times. Thank you.