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  • Karen Millar Kendall

Inspiration

Updated: May 11, 2019

I'm often asked, where do you draw your inspiration from? Was this painting from a place you visited? a photo you took? The truth is, inspiration comes from many places, and strikes at many different times. It is not unusual for me to lie awake in the early morning hours with my mind wandering through various ideas and thoughts about what to paint. Oftentimes this is due to something that I had seen that inspired me - a photo in a magazine, a spot of color in a piece of work on a gallery wall, or a little scene I had quietly come across on a hike. Something will stand out and catch me, and then it will percolate in my mind's eye until I can transfer an idea to canvas. Once, I created a painting solely around a color; this color, a vibrant chartreuse, was on a scarf a woman was wearing - I couldn't stop thinking about it!


The painting I posted here, Salvator Rosa's "Lucrezia as Poetry", is one that I love for a number of reasons - its beauty, it's attitude, the light. It is inspired by Salvator Rosa's mistress, his muse; his inspiration. Nature is my muse, and is most often what inspires my paintings. The texture of it, particularly. Have you ever looked, really looked, around you? I find myself wanting to touch everything - get a sense of the complexities of its physical make up, and then I want to translate that in my paintings. A leaf is so much more than "just a leaf" - it is a magical composition of edges, veins, furry fuzz and bumpy skin, add to that the color, the light and the shape and you have something uniquely delicious to take in and appreciate. Although I don't do photographic painting, I always try to capture the essence of that magical composition every time I translate.


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