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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Magic Word for Artists

'Summer Love'         9x12       pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $165
I didn't have an answer right away. My head was too full of inspiration and I couldn't choose just one thing to share. But as I thought about everything I had learned from my weekend as a volunteer at Richard McKinley's workshop for the Southeastern Pastel Society, one thing kept cropping up. It was something Richard repeated several times. I realized that it was the key! It was a single word which means so much. I will go as far to say that it is the MAGIC WORD for artists.

We all want to be the best artists possible.  We may have different goals but we all want to improve and grow. We want to get better! We want our paintings to express what is inside of us. Most of us want to move beyond having technical proficiency and create paintings that move others.  In order to do this we need the magic word....We need to give ourselves PERMISSION.

Watercolor underpainting on white Wallis paper

Permission. It's simple really but hard to do sometimes. We need to give ourselves permission to try things, to experiment with techniques, with color, with design. We need to give ourselves permission to play. We learn the most when we are having fun and letting go. We need to give ourselves permission to move away from the reference photo....we don't need to be literal to the scene. It's OK to let the painting lead us in a different direction. Let it happen! Don't hold back!

I love that Richard reminds us that we can give ourselves permission to think outside of the box and to follow our own voices. We need to enjoy the journey and with time and practice it will all fall into place.

2.5 x 3.5 inch color study

I decided to continue my exploration of this familiar subject and interpret it in a new way. I printed my reference photo in black and white so I could create a new mood with cooler colors. My previous painting was a warm sunset mood. For this painting I did a watercolor underpainting on white paper. I took the time to do a small color study to test out my color ideas. I gave myself PERMISSION to play and explore this scene in a new way.

black and white reference photo


betknit said...

Thank you for sharing this word of wisdom!

Cmichaudart said...

yep, I needed that word today. Headed to the studio and have "permission" to play and experiment a bit! thanks.