I had my everyday life interrupted in a good way from mid-March until this week. I taught a beginner’s drawing workshop, called So You Think You Can’t Draw, in four 2-hour sessions for the Art Club at BallenIsles, participated in a panel discussion for the Art Club that included a 15-minute talk (with samples and slide show) about my “artistic journey” and co-chaired a luncheon for a dear friend of mine who was being honored. All of that meant that I didn’t have much time to paint, so A Garden of Love took forever to finish.
Inspiration strikes in many different ways, and I am often inspired by photographs I see online. I don’t mean that I go trolling for photographs of things I might want to paint; I mean that when I see a photograph that interests me while I’m reading an article or checking notifications on a website, I take a screenshot and save it. In October of last year, I saw a photo of a stained glass torso with an infant in utero that I thought was brilliant.
While I start almost every painting with a monochromatic drawing, my approach to painting this torso was a little different. I began with a simple drawing of her shape, but once I started to draw the flowers covering her breasts, I just set myself free and let my brush travel all over her body to include the leaves and blossoms and color wherever I thought they made sense. My proportions were also slightly different from the original image (she’s taller now…more like me), so I had to correct my version to include more of her body. A bit of a departure from my original inspiration, this was just great fun to paint. I can still see the stained glass in it, but I’m not sure anyone else would.