The Many Colors of Spring

 Color Your Heart

at The French Broad River Connection

I wanted to paint a colorful palette of Asheville’s Blue Ridge parkway.  And express the many colors of spring. Hiking up the Parkway leads to many surprising trails and vistas. One of them is the overlook of the French Broad River. It was nearing the end of winter and new leaves were starting to grow as if welcoming the beginning of spring.  The evergreens were refreshing to see amidst all the bare trees and bare branches. I brought with me my plein air gear and wide brimmed hat and I started to find a good spot to paint. However, to my disappointment it was mostly a gray palette in front of me.

Then I started walking around to find suitable options for an interesting composition. As a result, I  sketched a few thumbnails that gave me ideas on how to proceed with my brush. Because I explored possible options I got my creative mojo back.  And I thought, this is really going to be fun.

I decided to play with colors as I continued to change my composition.  Then I created two sets of color combinations where I could base my final choice.  Discovering new color contrasts and values as I built my new masterpiece was exhilarating!  I closed my eyes and I saw the colors of spring unfold. I saw shades of blues, teal greens, turquoise, and purples, a touch of alizarin crimson, and many shades of gray. The golden yellow and soft oranges at the far end of the horizon that reflected on the water came to life.  I sat there enjoying the wintery scene but happy to break out of the natural world as I allowed my imagination to capture springtime as I visualized it. And now, the many colors of spring have arrived ready to color your heart!

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For details and info about this watercolor painting, visit:        

” I shut my eyes in order to see “
Paul Gaugin
The Many Colors of Spring2020-06-19T17:10:07-04:00

Finding Inspiration As An Artist

layers of colors of sunset or sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mtns

The colors of the sky speaks to me

Finding Inspiration As An Artist: Just Begin!

Everyone needs inspiration. Whoever we are and whatever we are doing we need something to prod us along. I wake up in the morning with many things in my head, like is there anything new for me today and my cup of coffee! Finding inspiration as an artist is where we begin to express our hearts and minds. I believe that overcoming these hurdles are what makes a creative journey worthwhile!

Staring at a blank paper or canvas can be the most intimidating part as I start to paint and it begs the question: How do you find inspiration when you don’t feel inspired?

To reckon with this first and difficult step, we need to JUST DO IT and decide to JUST BEGIN! Procrastinating will never help get us inspired and believe me, I have a million excuses.  So I might begin sketching, composing with geometric shapes and sizes.  Or arranging and re arranging what may be possibilities.  And oftentimes playing with a few color studies serves as a jumpstart. So follow your heart. Because there are no mistakes where to start.

Don’t Beat Yourself When You Can’t Find A Spark! Keep Going!

I take a break and leave my studio. Then I take a walk in our woodsy neighborhood. I call it my Inspiration Walk.  I become more attuned to what is around me.  As a plein aire painter I try to be more adventurous as I discover new shapes, colors, and textures in the landscape. Then I take photos of scenes and objects which sparks my heart. As a result I find that  all I need is a spark, or a nudge. So the rest is now expressing an adventure through this journey. And yes your muse abound  everywhere.

I am so blessed to live here in North Carolina with its wondrous landscape and the Blue Ridge mountains. However, there are days I can still feel uninspired and stale!  I am sure we all go through this season. I shake this off by simply doing something else, like cleaning my studio, or browsing through my photo references. Or even just going out to eat in a restaurant I have never been to.

sunset drama

A spark of inspiration: Sundown at the Blue Ridge Mountains

During one of our weekend hikes with my hubby, I took a photo of an arresting sunset at the top of Max Patch. And then I forgot all about it. One wintery, snowy day, I could not paint outdoors.  So, I browsed through my photographs and voila, an inspiration came over me. I knew I wanted to paint this scene which I entitled “Land of the Sky”.

Recommended reading for inspirational tips!

Nature’s Inspiration: Visit my watercolor paintings:

When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to ‘arise from the dead” and do the impossible.  The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we “get up and get going.” God does not give us overcoming life – he gives us life as we overcome.”   By Oswald Chambers

Blogpost 3: March 17, 2020

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Finding Inspiration As An Artist2020-03-17T20:34:32-04:00