We all have an imagination. But, it takes a special skill to hold an image in thought and turn that imagination into art.
Art-making can be a natural gift, a learned skill, or a combination of both. Making art is difficult and it takes perseverance, imagination, and a lot of hard work. Throughout the ages, even the most talented artists have had to work for years to perfect their art.
I often get asked how I continue to find fresh ideas and inspiration for my paintings. Most often I am inspired by nature, color, light and shadow, patterns, and design. Sometimes I am inspired by another artist, or an abstract painting. Or, it might be an old Japanese screen or unique vessel that triggers my imagination.
I thought you might enjoy discovering how I turn my imagination into art. The paintings in this post are my recent series of works which are on display at Kneeland Gallery in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Please contact them for more information. (208) 725-5512 or email me, email@example.com
Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a popular Americana event in Idaho. In search of painting ideas, I followed the sheep with my camera and brought a lot of new inspiration back into my studio. Those inspired ideas led me to a concept which sparked my imagination!
The concept for a painting is an idea. For example, I had the idea of painting sheep. This idea was a thought of “sheep.” I used my sketches and photographs to refine my concept. But, the picture in my mind was the image, or my imagination. The next step was to turn my imagination into art!
The finished piece is always a test of communication between one’s imagination and the execution. I am pleased with my finished oil painting, “Autumn Grazing.” It is quite close to the picture I imagined in my head.
A few years ago, I was nervously pacing the halls of a hospital and happened upon this anonymous koi pond print. The peaceful imagery was a welcomed break from the stressful hospital waiting room.
Since then, I had been photographing koi ponds and waiting for inspiration to strike!
A few years later, I was inspired and ready to paint the koi fish! I decided use encaustic wax to depict the koi paintings that were in my imagination. You can see how I used the reference materials to develop my concept. However, my own imagination was quite different than the original idea.
Encaustic wax is an exciting medium to use. It is difficult to control as it ebbs and flows in its molten state. The hot wax seems to have a mind of its own and I must willing to relinquish some control over my original concept. My imagination always expands when I work with encaustic wax.
For these paintings I used encaustic wax, pigments, India ink, alcohol inks, and a wet shellac burn to create the interesting textures.
The first time I saw the beautiful fresco works by the late, Marcia Meyers, I was intrigued. Inspired by the Color Field movement, Marcia’s oversized works harken back to the crumbling antique walls of the Old World. Color Field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. Marcia’s paintings are a unique combination of old meets new.
Encaustic wax lends itself to creating wonderful depth, textures and organic colors. In my ‘window series’ I wanted to emulate the feeling of peering out an old window surrounded by fresco walls.
Both my paintings, Winter Waxwings and Spring at Last are reminiscent of the above antique prints.
I could keep going! I hope this post inspires and helps you discover how to turn your own imagination into art!
Happy New Year! ~Lori 🙂