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Monday, April 23, 2018

The Secret to Painting Wildflowers

'A Little Sunshine'          5x7        pastel        ©Karen Margulis      sold
What is the secret?  I admit that I don't have all the answers but I do know what has worked for me. The secret for painting wildflowers for me is that I paint them often and with passion.  Paint what you love. Paint your truth. I have heard this advice many times. Figure out what it is you are drawn to. What makes your heart race? What compels you to capture it on canvas or paper? 

Whenever I see a patch of wildflowers I get inspired. It doesn't matter where I am. For some reason I am drawn to the flowers. That is what I want to paint. Last week was a perfect example. I was painting on St. George Island surrounded by beauty. Should I paint the dunes or the sea? Or Should I paint the lighthouse... a favorite motif. I looked at the scene in front of my easel and it was the small patch of beach sunflowers that caught my eye.

If you look closely at the photo above you might see the flowers! Ignoring the lighthouse I zoomed in and painted the flowers. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

My secret for painting any subject well:
  • Paint what you love. Sure, you need to stretch and paint other things to help you learn and grow as an artist. But always make time to return to your favorite subjects.
  • Paint what you know....or really get to know your favorite subject. Study it and paint it over and over. I can't tell you how many variations on this same closeup flowers that I have painted. I vary the technique,color palette, composition....and with each painting I get to know the flower even better. I never tire of painting them because they move me
  • Plan and then paint with Passion!  When I paint a field of wildflowers I start with a plan so  that when I paint I can paint with passion and just intuitively respond to my painting. I don't want anything to slow me down like choosing colors and making composition decisions. 
What subject makes your heart sing?  How many times have you painted it? The more you paint it, the more you will make it your own and your own unique style will emerge. I think I will go paint some more wildflowers!

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