|'Welcome Autumn' 6x8 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
“It is very good to copy what one sees; it is much better to draw what you can’t see any more but is in your memory. It is a transformation in which imagination and memory work together. You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.”-Edgar Degas
It really is amazing. We have the ability to retain so much information and to recall it at will. This ability can help us create stronger paintings if we let it. But we often don't allow it to happen. We become slaves to our references. If we work from photos they often become a crutch. It is a scary thought to put the photo away and work from our memory and experience with the subject of the photo. But giving ourselves the freedom and permission to put the photos away can result in paintings that have more meaning. We tend to only include what we remember....what meant the most or made the biggest impression.
TRY THIS: Create a random underpainitng of any type. Don't plan for what you will paint on the underpainting. Just play with shapes and colors. I call these Random Underpaintings. When the underpainting has dried look at it and see what it reminds you of. Then paint that place or thing from your memory. My random underpainting reminded me of yellow fall trees maybe the cottonwoods of the Southwest. I based my painting on memories of these trees.
|My random underpainting|