Friday, October 20, 2017

Leaves, Color and the inspiration of change

When I was in 2nd grade we had a family reunion picnic at Bear Mountain State Park. It was October and it must have been peak leaf weekend that year!  The entire park was filled with a carpet of the most magical eye popping color this 6 year old had ever experienced.

I spent most of the day joyously collecting leaves.  Each one was a surprise and delight. The memory is SO vivid I can see it, feel it and smell it. I was so absolutely captivated and lit up by the colors.

I am still that person picking up leaves every fall. Delighted with any and all I find. When my daughter was little I came up with dozens of projects for us to make with them - and it gave me an excuse to collect them with her.  I have decorated with them, photographed them, painted, sketched, and just sat in awe of them.

I bring them to classes I teach - the range of colors in a single fall leaf is astounding. Great practice for wet on wet watercolor painting, or blending colors without losing the purity and beauty of each hue.

No matter how many decades pass, every fall, there will always be a bit of that 6 yr old picking up leaves, gathering color, collecting magic.

You can find more of my art in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.
Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Food, Art, and Anxiety

Recently I was showing my work at an event, and my painting of the 7 Fishes, which was displayed among many others, became the magnet of many conversations.

People were drawn to it by the whimsy, the colors, the splashes of water drops, the frame... and the list went on and on. 

When I explained  the back story and that my inspiration was my friend's Christmas Eve party last year - and the dinner of the 7 Fishes - the reactions were all very powerful!  And surprisingly very polarizing.

The conversations triggered memories in all... varied memories - the joy of childhood holidays,  melancholy, sadness of missing a loved one, the like or dislike of eating seafood, the creativity of food preparation, and one woman reacted with absolute pure anxiety!  She was so stressed out she bolted from me. 
I felt terrible that a piece of my art and a conversation about inspiration could elicit that response, and yet not surprised.
The painting terrified one woman, and so captivated another that she purchased it.

Art can do that.
Food can do that. 
Memories can do that.
It all depends on where you stand and what you have lived.

You can find more of my art in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.
Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram