2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

What is Soft Mystery in a Painting?


'At Peace'              9x12              pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available on Etsy $165

I don't remember where I came across this quote. Sadly I don't even know the author but it is one that often comes to my rescue. It helps me remain true to my desire to paint with more expression....to paint what I feel rather than render every detail as they exist in my reference.


" The human mind delights in soft mystery"   unknown

It really is amazing how we are able to piece together bits and pieces and make them into a whole. We really don't require much information to fill in the blanks. We prefer it that way. It allows us to participate in a painting. If we see a few blades of grass rendered in detail surrounded by larger blocks of grass color we can assume that the entire area is the same type of grass. We don't need every blade of grass to make this assumption.



A close up view of the distant land mass NO detail at all.

Soft Mystery....keeping this thought in mind as I paint reminds me to decide where I will put clarity and detail and where I can just suggest it.  Take the distant mass of trees and  shrubs in the distance of today's painting. The trees are in the distance so I don't want to paint the them with detail and hard edges. I want to simply suggest a FEELING of the trees. A gentle brush of green and orange pastel is all that is needed. Soft mystery to suggest the foliage and grasses in the distance. In the foreground grasses only a few strokes to suggest grass is all that is needed for our brains to fill in the rest. 

Painting notes: I am working on commissions this week.  I love to paint landscape commissions and have a few openings on my schedule for holiday commissions. Contact me for details! karenmargulis@gmail.com

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi, Karin--The quote "The human mind delights in soft mystery." comes from THE PAINTER'S KEYS newsletter from Robert & Sara Genn.