Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Finding Art on your Doorstep

Doodled beginnings of an illustration of the Emerson quote

“Art is not to be found by touring to Egypt, China or Peru; if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Some twelve years ago I decided to see how I got on with trying to sell my pastel paintings, in effect ‘coming out’ as an artist. 

When I told a friend about this, her immediate, excited reply was to tell me how lucky I was because this would mean that I could go to Venice. Although Venice is one of the few places I would love to spend some time, I was totally at a loss to see the connection between trying to make a living from my art and going to Venice. 

I still am – and I was delighted to come across Emerson’s quote because it expresses my own approach to art. I don’t believe that we need to travel to find inspiration; for me at least, inspiration can strike at any moment, no matter where I am or how familiar or apparently 'ordinary' my surroundings.

I might suddenly notice the play of the light on the lace curtains in my bedroom –

- or, probably more often, something outdoors, in my local area or especially in my little garden, simply begs me to paint it or to make it the basis of a pattern or greeting card design:

Lipstick Pink Roses


Tulips in the park I cross each time I go shopping

So, over the coming months, I plan to introduce you to the ‘art’ that I've found ‘at my own door’ – or perhaps just a little bit further afield - beginning, tomorrow, with some Roses at Christmas:

PS By trial and error, I've learnt a valuable tip today! Next time I attempt to illustrate a quotation, I'll definitely make things much easier for myself if I put the text in place first and illustrate around it!


for some of the
Gifts and Greetings for Gardeners
that I've designed

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