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10-09-2009, 03:36 PM
Try this creative challenge!

You can find extraordinary subjects for your paintings in the most ordinary things.

For the next few days, use your routine excursions to notice what lies around you. Start a collection of things that you notice. What shape is that little stick on the sidewalk? What color is the leaf that fell beneath your window? What do the mottled lines in the wooden shed remind you of? If you can’t pick them up (or don’t want to), photograph them. When you’ve selected a sufficient number of items to stoke your creative fires, create a work of art in the medium of your choice.

• Make notes along the way about why you’re attracted to the objects you select.
• Consider how you might depict your subjects: representationally, abstractly, impressionistically, in a mixture of styles?
• Be open to different media. You can stick to one or go the mixed media route. Consider collage.
• Think about a theme. Create a title for your painting. Perhaps this is the beginning of a series.

Share Your Work!
When you’re finished, post your artwork on this thread. Tell us a little about your piece, if you wish.

(This challenge is an excerpt from “Creative Workout” by Betsy Dillard Stroud in the April 2010 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.) (http://www.northlightshop.com/category/artists-magazine)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Mar-2010/188153-search1.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Mar-2010/188153-Lost_and_Found_paint3FAD92.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

03-23-2010, 10:20 AM
All over the Mississippi Gulf Coast generations of family treasures were lost in Katrina. Residents searched for days founding only bits and pieces of our former lives scattered over miles. Crazy as it sounds we picked those pieces up and put them in boxes. Our hearts were unwilling to throw the objects and memories of our lives away. Memories were all many of us had left.

Since the storm many of my friends have brought me those boxes and asked me to make something to remember their loved ones. They tell me their stories from the past and what each object represents to them. From these stories an idea takes hold and a painting takes shape. They are simple paintings made of memories with love. Katrina taught me that our families are the most precious gifts. They are to be held close and loved each day less they be taken away in the blink of an eye.

One of the effects from Katrina was the tragic loss of wildlife. Normally, southern Mississippi has an abundance of wildlife so its stark absence left a terrible void. I remember the day I saw the first pelican return. I was driving across the I-110 bridge in Biloxi, MS at sunset. A brown pelican glided over head and soared over the water toward the coastline with the sun’s rays lighting its way. It was such a simple act but it was powerful. That memory sparked the creation of this painting. I remember the joy and hope I felt. Katrina taught me that the simple acts are the most precious gifts.

This painting has many layers and takes on a magical personality of its own. It is filled with animals of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and treasures found after Katrina. If my artwork is successful a smile will cross the viewer’s face as they enter the whimsical world of the painting. I hope every time the viewer looks at one this painting they see something new and entertaining.