Drawing/painting from life is the best. But in life, natural light changes rapidly, so I rely on photography to capture the moment, point out the most interesting subject matter,(I can tell my degree of interest by the number of photos I click), and assist in selecting a balanced composition,(playing around with crop, adjust and effects in my photo program. That's it. With brush in hand, my intuitions take over.
To select what's next after Summer Woods, I looked through my photographs over the weekend. Several shots struck my interest, but I'm leaning toward my backyard again.
There's something fascinating about the woods behind my house. I think I'm intrigued by the density of the forest. There's so many trees with underbrush and no clear path through to the lake on the other side--visible and inviting--yet seemingly difficult to get to. The woods, like life I suppose, is full of obstacles, but also detours. You just have to find your way around to get where you want to go.
This last spring, dotted with fresh color, the woods looked promising. I took several photos. What's next will begin with one of these, then a few sketches to work out color and procedure; and when that's clear enough, on to the real stuff: canvas and paint and the dialog that occurs between painter and painting during the process that always yields surprises. Woods in Spring will be a happy painting.
Nothing worthwhile ever comes without meaningful subject matter to hold first the interest of the artist, then the viewer.(My father in-law used to love to film his vacations and our family events and then have home movie night. His films were fascinating. We couldn't take out eyes off the screen. He held our interest by inserting a second or two of light pornography, gorgeous gals and hunky guys doing I never knew what they came and went so quickly. He was a true artist of the splice and no one ever wanted to miss a frame).