Without intending to, photographs have become a huge part of my practice in recent months.
I used to paint exclusively from my imagination, but lately, I have been completely relishing in taking inspirational photographs of beautiful landscapes, flowers, plants, textures and patterns I find in nature.
If I'm honest, I used to feel turned-off by the idea of painting landscapes. Why would I paint something that already exists in nature?, I'd ask myself.
Here's why. Because nature is the best teacher AND the inspirational content is all there. Nature provides:
- a fantastic colour palette
- amazing patterns
- beautiful, organic shapes
- honest shades of light and dark
- delicious textures
- and effortless compositions
All of these are ready made in nature. It takes the effort out of thinking, and makes it so easy to FEEL when I'm painting. Having a photograph to remind me of these moments, is truly a gift of inspiration when I'm at my easel.
I'm not sure how the shift has occurred, but I love that it has.
On Monday, went to an amazing class this week at GOMA, where Amanda Talbot presented her ideas about colour. This is a woman who travels the world, researching colour, photographing amazing interior and exterior building designs, and forecasting future colour schemes, with nature.
Listening to her talk, I had so many 'Aha' moments. Just look how simple, yet amazing nature is, teaming beautiful, rich, colourful hues, shapes and textures together in the humble old garlic bunch.
It got me thinking of all those beautiful moments I see when I'm walking of an afternoon - the way the sun radiates golden light along the edge of a leaf, the way the waves make patterns in the sand, the amazing pastel coloured skies at dusk.
This new focus in my work has produced, not surprisingly, more landscapey styled artworks. My challenge now, is to keep pushing through my inner critic, while my new works are finding new ground between landscape painting and abstract, nature-inspired art.
I haven't quite felt a comfortable flow in my last few paintings, but I am no longer able to go back to who I was as an artist. My environment has inspired me, changed me and helped me to grow ... and I'm up for the challenge.
Love C x