‘Southern Sanctuary’ 18×24 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Winter is a busy time for me with classes and workshops. I also have been busy organizing my pastels. I was able to purchase a huge collection of pastels from an artist who was downsizing so I have had to find places for them all. A fun project! If you would like to read more about my pastel organizing plan have a look at my daily painting blog here. I invite you to sign up for email updates so you don’t miss a daily painting post!
‘Endless Inspiration’ 8×10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
It is time to set art goals. I decided I wanted to set simple goals this year. I was happy to find a simple method for goal setting in a blog post by Richard McKinley. I am using his formula for my goals. You can read more about it on my daily painting blog here.
‘After the Storm’ 8×10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Sometimes I am compelled to paint something that I didn’t plan. Circumstances intervene and inspiration strikes. I had intended to paint another cat today with a more involved background but as I listened to the radio with the storm reports from Sandy I went in another direction.
We didn’t experience the storm here in Georgia although it has been very windy and cold here the last couple of days. It is the wind and the storm that inspired today’s painting. I wanted to paint something that captures the feeling of a windy day….the clearing of a storm with promise of a new day.
It was with a sense of urgency that I searched for that last piece of black sandpaper that I had been saving. I knew the black smooth surface would work for the mood I wanted to create. This painting is from my imagination and is more an emotional response to the weather rather than a depiction of an actual place.
I’ll get to the cat painting but sometimes there is a painting in you that you just have to get out. It may not even turn out well but it is the process of creating that is important. Don’t ignore that voice in your head that tells you what to paint. It is this voice that helps you put your emotions into a painting. It is no longer just a painting exercise. You are painting from your heart.
‘Beauty Among Us’ 5×7 pastel ©Karen Margulis
I love reading older art magazines. They are filled with tips and inspiration. I buy them in lots on ebay and browse through them when I have some downtime. I came across an article in a 2011 issue of American Artist about artist Kathy Anderson and I want to share a nugget of wisdom from the article.
Kathy’s flower painting are just wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her approach and background. One thing really stood out to me though. She studies with Richard Schmidt and Nancy Guzik and one of the things Nancy told her is to “Make every Inch Beautiful” in your painting.
I love this advice!
‘Into the Moody Marsh’ 8×10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘You are not a painter’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” Vincent Van Gogh
I love this quote by Van Gogh. If you paint or create art …you are an artist. You may be new at painting or you may be at a cross roads in your journey but as long as you continue to make art I believe you must consider yourself an artist.
I often see hesitation in my students to refer to themselves as artists. Perhaps they believe that they aren’t good enough to be able call themselves artists. But this hesitation can prevent growth. In order to grow as an artist you must work hard at your art. Being afraid of failure or of not doing it right or not being good enough can be paralyzing. This fear stops many from painting.
I am going to give a copy of this quote to my students. I want them to believe in themselves and know that if they paint they are artists. The more they paint the faster their skills will grow. Thanks Vincent for the inspiration!
‘Nest Box Treasure’ 5×7 pastel Karen Margulis
Did you ever wonder about the nests inside the bluebird boxes? We watch the bluebird parents work so hard at feeding their babies and then prepare the box for another family. They are fascinating to watch. I had the chance to peek into a box and got photos of the tiny blue eggs. I decided to paint them to enjoy forever!
‘Tiny Treasures’ 8×10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
I am excited to be the Artist in the Spotlight at Daily Paintworks.com. This week you can read my interview on the Daily Paintworks blog. I will also be giving away an 8×10 pastel to a Daily Paintworks follower. I am sharing a snippet of the interview here and I would love for you to visit the DPW blog to read the interview and leave a comment if you wish. Click Here for the link to the entire article
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.
I took art classes in high school, but didn’t start painting until my own children were in high school and I found myself with extra time. I started doing a small daily painting and posted it to my blog so that I could improve my painting skills. I have been doing a daily painting for 7 years now!
Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?
Once I started painting, I haven’t stopped. I recently retired from my day job to paint and teach full time. I can’t imagine ever stopping now that I’ve rediscovered art.
What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?
I started with watercolor, but quickly discovered that pastel was my passion. I love the vibrancy and the immediacy of pastels. I have recently started exploring oils and I really do enjoy the texture I can get with paint. I look forward to working to improve my skills with the brush….
‘Where the Meadow Fairies Play’ 16×20 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Painting a series is a great learning experience. It is a challenge to discover how to take the same subject and create a new and interesting interpretation. I have a series going that has come about by accident, I am learning so much from these paintings though so I am going to continue with the series. Let me explain…
If today’s painting looks familiar somehow that is because I have painted a similar meadow with Queen Anne’s Lace many times. I didn’t even realize just how many times until I was going through some unfinished work. I came across several of the same size and composition…all unfinished. They are demos that I started for my Wildflower workshops and demos done for various art groups.
I find that I choose this particular scene to paint because it helps me illustrate so many of the things I want to share with the group. It allows be do discuss underpaintings. layering. atmospheric perspective, designing a painting and arrangement of flowers, choosing a focal area, finishing marks, It is just a great subject for a demo. But I don’t need 10 of the same painting so I am finishing each one and changing them in some way.
I decided to make this demo painting into a soft early morning landscape. I added some pearlescent pastel which to me gave the painting a magical glow. I felt like it would be the perfect place for the meadow Fairies!
If you would like to see the other paintings in the series visit my daily painting blog here
‘The Forever Flowers’ 9×12 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Two weeks ago Jayne and I went to visit our friend Holly at her mountain house. She has a huge garden with half of it devoted to flowers. Her neighbor plants and tend the flowers. There are dahlias of all shapes and colors, zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers. I was in heaven! We went down to the garden several times a day to take photos in the changing light. We enjoyed the bees and hummingbirds and butterflies.
We love the flowers but don’t like them to be cut. (deadheading is OK) Early the next morning the neighbor came and started cutting and making the bouquets that she sells at the market. Oh it was so sad to see those sunflowers cut down. And imagine our dismay when she brought a cut bouquet up to the house for us to enjoy. She meant well. She didn’t quite get why we prefer our flowers growing and not cut. I told my friends that I would take pictures of the bouquet and paint them so that we would enjoy them forever.
I painted them on Diane Townsend pastel paper with a watercolor underpainting. I painted them from my heart. Jayne and Holly….here’s to our Forever Flowers!
‘Meadow Walk’ 8×10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
I love texture! A great way to introduce texture to a pastel painting is to use a textured surface. Most commercial pastel papers have a smooth and even surface. Even the roughest sanded paper tends to have an even surface. That is why I love using my own prepared surfaces. I can make them as rough and irregular as I want. I don’t use my own surfaces that often because I don’t take the time to make them. It isn’t hard to do so I really need to make them more often. I love painting on them! If you would like to see photos of the development of this painting visit my Daily Painting blog here.