Saturday, August 22, 2015

Inspiration and Tribute

Colored Pencil Drawing: Chinese dancer I photographed during a trip to China

A honey bee on a Bradford pear tree in my front yard.
Colored Pencil 

A watercolor of a brown pelican that I photographed during a trip to
the Galapagos islands.  

Colored pencil of a preening flamingo

"Street Music"  Watercolor of a street musician in New Orleans
Kestrel by Morton Solberg

White Egret by Morton Solberg

Elk by Morton Solberg


Art has always been a part of my life.  My aunt was an artist, and my
father was very creative and worked with wood.  Art was in my DNA.
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was
always, "an artist".  My mother was not artistic, but she had many
friends who were.  One of her closest friends, Betty Gene Haile, was a
professional artist, painting in both watercolors and oils.  She loved to travel,
and painted often on location in the hill country of Texas, and villages in Mexico.
She was perhaps my earliest inspiration.  When we would visit her home, I loved to
peek into her studio, and see what she was working on.
I was always thrilled to see colorful Mexican fruit markets, boasting striped awnings
and multi colored fruit; Texas hillsides dotted with blooming prickly pear or
a rocky creek lined with live oaks and bluebonnets.

She painted what she saw and what she loved.

I'm teaming up with Patience Brewster in honor of Artist Appreciation Month and sharing 

my inspirations. Patience is a well known artist and designer of figurines and ornaments.
What inspires us as artists can vary widely I am sure.
While in college, I began to study Art History, and was inspired by numerous
masters.  But my favorite is Vincent Van Gogh.  I have been blessed to view
many of his works throughout the world.  I stand in front of them, humbled by
the brushwork, color, and passion.  I am inspired by the sheer number of works
that he completed in a very short time, and saddened by his tragic story, so full of
struggle and agony.

He painted what he loved and what he saw.
And now, as a professional artist myself, I have been able to attend workshops
given by some of favorite living artists.  The beautiful examples above are by
Morton Solberg, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a workshop in Wyoming.
I have always enjoyed painting with watercolor, but this man makes it look
effortless and fun.  I love his use of abstract surroundings and detailed
wildlife.  I wish I could paint with such abandon, and yet, focus.  He
paints the wildlife he loves, and puts them in environments that showcase
them in masterful compositions.

He paints what he knows and what he loves.\
  I am currently inspired so much by God's
wonderful creation all around me.  I live out in the country in Louisiana, and I see wildlife
every day.  I especially like birds, and I have the chance to view many of them.
I am also inspired when I travel, and enjoy capturing life in other
places...the people, architecture, the landscapes and wildlife.
I continue to paint when I am able, and do travel several times a year.

I find myself painting on location, much like Mrs Haile.  I hope that I am
as passionate about my work in even a small way like Vincent.  And
that I capture the Louisiana wildlife I love in masterful compositions like
Mr. Solberg.

I paint what I see, and what I love.
patience brewster ornaments

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