Skip to main content

                                              WHERE TO FIND INSPIRATION

     Every artist has had the experience of coming up empty for an idea on what to paint.  That is where it is good to have a library of reference material!

     At one time, we needed bookshelves full of photos and books! I know an artist that has a large room FULL of reference material.  Mostly photos he has taken through the years and some books, plus friends cut pictures from magazines for him. It is probably the largest reference library in the country.   In this day and age, however all we really need is a computer! Now, don't get me wrong...I have three tall bookcases full of books and photos, and they are not going anywhere! I love books, and have boxes of photos I have accumulated that I will not throw away.  But, that being said, if we need ideas, there are thousands of photos on the internet that we can use.  Just remember the golden rule...NO COPYING!  That does NOT mean we cannot use them for ideas, or put two, three, or four together to come up with our own painting!

     I will admit, lately if I am painting and I need a photo of something to get details correctly,  I tend to go to the internet because it is so easy.  For example I just finished a portrait of a young child and an infant.  I needed a photo of a baby's hand to use for reference.  In two minutes I had pages of hands to use.  NICE!

     So, if you can come up with a topic, you have TONS of inspiration literally at your fingertips.  Take some time to "stroll" through images and set aside or print off three or four that you really like.  Take something from each to create your own and go for it!  For example, you may like the trees in one, the sky in another, a body of water, a house, barn, road, etc from yet another.  Put those together and you have an original!  All artists can and do use this method and it is especially helpful for getting through a dry period.  The next thing you know, you will have a long list of ideas you cannot wait to try!

     I will even take a photo of an image I particularly like and store it in my computer for later reference in a folder.  I have folders with reference photos of  St. Augustine and the beaches, animals, flowers. skies, and anything else that interests me.  They are invaluable!

     I also take photos of paintings when allowed if I particularly like it or if the artist has done a technique I would like to remember.  Those are valuable as learning tools and for ideas. Just be sure you are allowed to take the photo.

     I have a photo of the portrait below.  Please don't be too critical, I have never done a portrait before and it is not my best work, but it was a gift for a close friend who just had her second child.  She loved it so I am happy.  Also, three smaller paintings went to new homes this week.  Thanks for looking and see you soon!

11 x 14
Acrylic on canvas panel

5 X 7
Acrylic on canvas panel


5 X 7
Acrylic on panel


5 x 7
Acrylic on panel



Popular posts from this blog


Sale prices will be in effect until all these paintings are gone!

        I will accept cash..or a credit card.  If local, pick or or delivery has no shipping charge.  Shipping for 11x14  or smaller should be no more than $8-$15 (USPS priority) depending on where you live. Larger paintings will be more.  I recently shipped an 18 x 24 painting and the shipping (UPS ground) charge was very reasonable ($35) REST ASSURED I WILL SEND THE CHEAPEST ( while still safe) WAY POSSIBLE!

   TO PURCHASE:  TEXT - 904-710-6721 = OR EMAIL :

                                   THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL PAINTINGS!


     So I wanted to come up with a new series that I thought would be popular.  I decided they needed to be large and showy, but not too complicated.  Since we live in a tropical area, I came up with the idea of "Looking Up", literally!

     I took some pictures of palm trees from below and began painting them in a simplified form on canvas that is 36 x 48 ( huge!)  I love it!  I only have one done so far, but I know that they will be popular judging from comments I have received on social media.  Of course I have photos below of the first ones for you to see.

     I am not the first person to try this, but mine are different from other artists.  Mine are just a little bit more realistic, yet still fantastic and fun.  Larger than life, so to speak in a painting.  I focused in on the area at the top of the trunk where the palm fronds branch out making the structure very strong and making it easy to see …

     It has been a while since I showed the steps I go through to produce a painting.  I am working on a large one right now, so I decided this one would be a good candidate to go through this process again for those of you that are not familiar with it.

     A friend posted a photograph on social media of a scene on the central coast of Florida.  I really liked it, so I asked her permission to paint it and she readily agreed.  This scene is of huge cumulus clouds over the sand dunes.  I knew I wanted to focus on the clouds so I chose a canvas that is 36 x 48 gallery wrap.  I have the photo below.  This is a really nice photo, but the painting will be done in lighter colors I decided.

     I painted the entire canvas a light blue for the sky including the sides.  After it dried, I went back and it was darker than I wanted (acrylics dry darker, remember) so I went back over the top third with a shade lighter…