what does inspire me?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I  were driving through the North Carolina countryside. It was awesome! Around every bend in the road was a new vista, something "ohh-ahh" producing. The challenge was getting off the edge of the road to take photos. We drove in this green wonderland for hundreds of miles....inspiration falling like shamrock glitter.

Later in the day, pushing our luck riding on gas fumes, we pulled into one of those wonderful old fashion pump stations. You know the ones with the round topped pumps faded coffee colored screen and peeling white and red paint. 
Once the gas began gurgling in the empty belly of the tank, 
thank heavens, I had the sense to "LOOK  UP and AROUND" 
at my environment.

Across the dirt lane, waiting to be noticed.... 

If I hadn't taken a minute to look away from the pump I would have missed this bucolic scene.
(photos SOOC....)

The following oil painting isn't directly from the above photos, but was inspired by equally wonderful photographs shot during the day.

Peace Upon the Animals   16 x 20

The Fragrance of Lavender...16x20

This is a composite of many photos, and recalled memories. I consider this more imaginative than realistic, but was inspired by my surroundings.

We visited a magnificent chateau in Geneva, Switzerland.  It is situated with a view overlooking Lake Geneva.  However I found the outdoor gardens at the rear of the chateau very interesting. This is a rear facing photograph.
It you look hard you will see gardeners working. The yellow building is a chapel.

Below is the painting that resulted from the inspiration of  Landscape ~ Atmosphere.

Swiss Chateau  16 x 20

When we shoot a photograph, it immediately takes us back to a place in time.
Creating a painting can do the same.

Then we begin again.

HEART THOUGHT: don't forget to LOOK around while doing the ordinary tasks in life.  You might miss something.  I nearly did.

What I learned at a workshop.

Once a year, or there about, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to attend a workshop with an outstanding painter/teacher, meet new people, paint all day, no phones or deadlines, and I ALWAYS learn something new.

This year I hadn't really planned on a workshop, but an opening came up at Lynda Chamber's Art Gallery to paint with Dreama Tolle Perry. (click on names)

 Dreama has a very distinctive style and love for vibrant, strong color. It was a joy to watch her work her magic. 

I knew I would pick up some fabulous techniques to perk up my smaller paintings and make them more unified.
Wow did I! 

A bit of this, a bit of that.

....A teacher with a fun personality is a treat and Dreama has a wry sense of humor and a warm heart, plus tons of talent.
....She gives her all to her workshop students/friends. She is very generous.
....Organization is key.  And she kept us on target.
....Generally you have to plan a year in advance as classes fill up quickly in popular workshops.

....Taking me by surprise, women are now carrying i PADS to use for note taking and photographing the painting-in-progress.
....I kept my Big Mama camera (which is evidently now out of style) in my purse and pulled out my i Pad...very reluctantly....but then soon thought "this is super-why not" All of these photos, blurry or not, were taken with my i Pad.

....Some ladies are quiet and reserved, others are a riot and always adding to the chatter.  Lots of personalities!
....Tip:Watching a teacher demonstrate you want to sit to the left or right side...never the middle or you won't be able to see.  Too bad teachers can't wear Harry Potter's invisible cloak while they paint.  There would be no "bad" seat!
.....Take notes if you want to remember things.
.....Plan on forgetting something in the way of supplies....and plan on sharing with someone else who forgot their supplies. There is a lot of sharing.
......Sturdy easels make life so much easier. Make sure the height is right for you!
......SUN MAGIC takes paint out of silk to denim...highly recommended.

......Our hostess for the workshop, Lynda, is one fabulous cook...vegetarian,
colorful, yummy, color coordinated, bouquet of roses, printed menus she had watercolored, and southern warmth.
The workshop was during Mother's Day weekend. Lynda created gorgeous and equally yummy cake cups for all of us. But first we honored Dreama.  Isn't that sweet? 

(I know, one does not eat and paint at the same time. But a photograph is okay isn't it?)

This was one fantastic workshop in every way possible.
So glad I was able to attend.

One of my completed paintings that will be at my show next week.  It looks pretty spiffy in its new frame. (not shown)

The first hour at a workshop can be pretty un-nerving, but then all falls into place and women do what they do best.....talk, talk, talk.  Soon you feel right at home.
Never worry about dipping your brushes into a workshop.

You never know what you might come up with!!!!

Heart thought:  don't let fear control what you want to do in life. Just jump in heart and soul.