All posts in Living Creatively

14 May

What Moves an Artist to Paint?

Springtime Succulence

Inspiration for Springtime Succulence

What moves an artist to paint a particular subject? Probably the same force that enables special stories to be written.

I call it pure inspiration. Something special jumps out and shouts for our attention, like this grouping of prickly pear cactus did for me one spring afternoon.

I’d started along a familiar trail in the Anza Borrego Desert CA, and as always, I had my eye out for that unique element in nature that would inspire me to paint.

Approaching the path in the warming sun, I rounded a bend and saw the many sprinklings of flowering desert plants that dotted the ground like confetti. The beauty stopped me in my tracks. I’d been to the desert many times, but had never seen so many flowers blooming all at once.

As I looked closer at the landscape, I was impressed by the ocotillo, with its tall, spiny columns and tassels of brilliant red. Nearby were a variety of succulents and cacti, which were also topped with dashes of color.

Standing amidst the colorful landscape my eyes rested upon this particular patch of cactus, so full of open, pink blossoms that it reminded me of a bouquet of fresh cut flowers.

These beckoning pink blossoms created such a beautiful sight that I knew I had to paint them. I asked my husband to take a few photos, with his great camera. He’s a hobbyist photograph, so this turned into a  full photo shoot.

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01 Jan

Happy New Year from the Gingerbread Gallery!

In Living Creatively by admin / January 1, 2010 / 0 Comments
The Gingerbread Gallery

The Gingerbread Gallery

Happy New Year, everyone!

This year I had the opportunity to learn how to make my first “Gingerbread Art Gallery”. I knew my daughter Heather had experience in building gingerbread houses so I invited her teach me how to make one.

A fun 10 hours later and the gingerbread convection came to life! The ingredients are tasty with the roof being made from fruit rollups, the floor is gingerbread like the rest of the house, the icicles are icing. The snowman is made of solid chocolate and was given to us by a friend. Yes, we’ll be eating that one soon!

The shrubs and trees are all sprigs of evergreen taken from a wreath another friend gave to us. If you look closely in the second photo below, you can get a glimpse of the ‘paintings’ hanging on the walls; these are actually my magnets, which we baked into the gingerbread shell. (Magnets are available from our gift shop.)

The path is made from mocha brickle, and the gallery sits on a base that is covered in icing. To complete this Christmas vignette, we sprinkled coconut flakes on the ground and roof, and added Christmas tree lights to the interior, with two that poke through the wall, lighting up the sign. The goal was to create a ‘sustainable house’, in the sense of being able to eat or re-use all parts of it.

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