I do love a painting class. There’s usually a teacher or two there, someone to engage you in a dialogue about what you’re doing, what you want your painting to be and how to get there. And when you step back from your own painting, as you must do and often, you are surrounded by other artists and the myriad of subjects that they’re painting. You learn so much from other people’s work! Sometimes it influences you; sometimes you might even steal something.
Almost a year and a half ago, I stopped by the Acorn Gallery during the Marblehead Arts Festival and saw Lexi Baliotis (getting married next week, she’ll be known as Alexis Kereakaglow) working on a painting of a girl on a beach. I was completely enchanted by it—a back and side view that featured the girl’s ear in close up detail. You could have reached out to touch that ear or at the very least whispered a secret! So this year, I painted Shh…Don’t Tell Anyone with the image of Lexi’s ear in my mind’s eye. I’d call that inspiration.