2019 Workshop Schedule coming this week!
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction. New Paint-Along Videos coming!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

What Do You Do When Nothing Inspires?

'Shine Your Light'           9x12         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
I've been organizing my reference photos this week. I have over 50,000 photos on my computer. All from my travels. Occasionally I open a folder and print a few that speak to me at the moment.  So my collection of printed photos has slowly grown. I should have no problem at all finding inspiration!

But sometimes I get lost. I have too many choices. I can't focus on just one image. I putter around and my painting window quickly closes. What does one do when everything and nothing inspires? When you can't make a decision?

I put away the photos and look around the studio. I find inspiration in often unlikely places when I open my mind and my eyes.

How do these pastels inspire?

Today I put away the piles of photos. I was overwhelmed with the choices. I was feeling defeated. As I was cleaning up a box of plein air studies caught my eye. I had taken them out for a private class. I looked through them and was drawn to one of the 5x7 studies. It brought back memories of a wonderful day paining in Ireland. What if I used this painting as my inspiration?

I pulled out a piece of light blue Colourfix sanded paper and went over to my easel. Then I spotted the tray of pastels left out from yesterday's painting. The palette was perfect for my painting idea. It was serendipity! My excitement returned and I was filled with inspiration. It was a good day in the studio once I allowed myself to be open to unexpected possibilities. 

5x7 plein air field study from Art in the Open Ireland Summer 2017


robertsloan2art said...

Cool story. That was interesting, following your process. I don't always paint from photos but if I'm tired of doing what I usually do then I might turn to one. Or if I've been using them a lot I turn to paint something from life.

Terry Bonet said...

This was such a timely post! I have been combing through ppictures this week instead of painting. I can pick one there are so many so I waist time.

Tim Moore said...

We are stuck in an apartment trying to find our new and last! home...we lost out on our last 2 houses..wont bore you with the details..but piles of boxes everywhere..i have a little table in the kitchen ,which shares space with the family pc..its so hard to come home and feel inspired to paint when stuff is everywhere!..but i am trying to do something everyday..even if its only 20 min..good post!!

My Art Spaces said...

Nice story and great work too.