All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: Travel When You Can, Paint What You Know

Friday, July 12, 2013

Travel When You Can, Paint What You Know

Summer always makes me think of vacations and travel.  The siren call of distant places comes to me as my surroundings turn a vibrant green under puffy white clouds and bright blue skies.  Humidity and heat builds to a distracting level in July and August.
I think back to my travels. I experienced a chilly summer night while eating at an outdoor courtyard restaurant in southern California.  I camped in Yosemite at the foot of spectacular snow peaked mountains.  I stood under an endless clear blue sky in Taos, New Mexico.  I rode a ferry to the wind blown island of Nantucket.  I saw the Colosseum golden and lit in the Roman night.  I went to the fierce western coastline of Ireland.  All of these places live in my memory and make me smile.
But the thing is, despite my best efforts, I fail at painting them the way I saw them.  Too much of my own green of July creeps into the color mixing.  The light doesn't look right because I live under a different slant of sunshine.  And humidity changes perspective considerably.  That great artist teacher, Robert Henri, wrote about this phenomenon and surmised that a painter always paints the place where he or she lives even if the painter travels to depict other places.  He was right when he said "Paint what you feel.  Paint what you see.  Paint what is real you."
So I will take Robert Henri's advice and paint the United States south and things that are a part of life in the south.  I will travel when I can. 
Mona Vivar, Moonlight and Magnolias, 11 inches by 14 inches, acrylic on canvas

 Image copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

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