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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

What Do You Do When Nothing Inspires?


'Shine Your Light'           9x12         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
$165
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

4 comments:

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.