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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How to Decide What to Paint First After a Trip

'Summer in Alaska'                 9x12                    pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $175
I woke up to 4 suitcases staring me down. Would I spend the day unpacking and doing laundry or would I paint. Of course I was anxious to paint. I came home from my cruise to Alaska filled with inspiration. But the thought of those suitcases eventually won out. I decided it would be better to start with a clean slate and a clean studio!

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It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and by late afternoon I was finished unpacking and the easel called my name. This would be the tricky part. What would I paint first from all of my Alaska photos? What would call my name? I scrolled through my downloaded photos and selected 6 to print. I had taken over 1000 photos so it wouldn't be practical to print them all out.  I like to print about 6 or so at one time...use them for inspiration for a week and then revisit the photo files on my computer and choose another six photos. This not only makes it manageable it also allows me to revisit the photos with a fresh eye. What inspires me one day might not speak to me on another.

I print my photos no larger than 4x6 on regular printer paper

Usually after a big trip such as this one to Alaska I will paint from the photos for 2 - 4 weeks after the trip. Each week I will look for new subject matter within my photo files. Then it is time to move on. The photo files stay on my computer  (backed up twice of course) and the paper photos I printed stay in a marked envelope. I will often pull from these photos month and even years from the time of the trip. This is inspiration that keeps on giving!

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