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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Revisiting the Lavender Field: The importance of Artistic License

16 x 20 Pastel                  ©Karen Margulis              sold

I hope my friends Jayne and Holly will remember this place. We stumbled on it on our road trip out west a few years ago. We were somewhere in Kansas and saw a sign for a lavender farm so naturally we made the detour. We had to go down several dirt roads and it was hot and dusty. When we arrived at the location no one was there and there was a very small overgrown field with some not so happy lavender plants...nothing was in bloom. We took some photos and there were some great dragonflies...but the detour was a bust.

 One of the great things about painting though is the opportunity to make something out of nothing. I took my photo of the sad lavender field and filed it away. Over the years I have pulled out the photo and painted from it but I used my artistic license. I painted the field in full bloom! Painters can do that! 

I recently revisited this scene and did a new larger painting. It is 16x20. Once again I was reminded of the importance of an artistic license. Often things in nature are not perfectly composed with perfect light. Photographers have to either wait or get creative with composition (or photoshop) But painters have the ability to make changes and use the reference photo as a jumping off point. I love that about painting!

I did an oil stain underpainting which is a rich and vibrant way to begin

The pastels I used for the painting

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