|'Mountain Poppies' 8x6 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
It is a common complaint. Finding something to paint is a stumbling block for many. Before I give my two cents on this topic I will share a wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." Ralph Waldo EmersonThis quote strikes a chord with me as I am always reminding myself and my students that beauty is everywhere. We should be able to find something that touches us and inspires us wherever we look. We have to approach our search for inspiration with the mindset that there is beauty in everything. We only need to be open to it....to really SEE it. It isn't enough to just look around us. We need to feel the beauty and be sensitive to it.
I don't use beautiful and perfect reference photos for my paintings. I use small crummy photos. This allows me to pull out the beauty that I see inside of my mind and put it into the painting. I have discovered that bad photos lead to my best paintings. My favorite places to paint are not the most spectacular. They possess a quiet and simple beauty that speaks to me because I am open to them.
The inspiration for today's painting came from a small section of a very busy photo I took in Vermont. The poppies were a small part of a large busy garden and they were past their prime. But they planted the seed of inspiration and my memory of poppies took over.