I've been working on a series of florals from this group of fresh flowers that I picked up last week. The flowers are absolutely beautiful and have been really inspiring me a lot. I've painted 5 paintings so far and just did one today that I'm very proud of. I painted it very quickly because I saw some rain clouds gathering and I finished it right before it started raining.
I was telling my students this past week that there's really nothing more important than inspiration. If you want to paint something that inspires you then you will enjoy it more and it will turn out better. I encourage everyone to seek your own inspiration, whatever that might be.
I was working on another flower painting tonight and had an opportunity to paint a small self portrait. I could see myself reflected in a back window behind the still life so I used 3 brush strokes to capture the planes of my face; I think it came out to be a good likeness.
I've also been thinking recently about representational painting and how to really capture a feeling of atmosphere in a painting. It really goes beyond representation - Sorolla was a master of this. It's almost like you have to paint the feeling as well as the reality. And I've found that I can't be too careful about it. There's a certain rhythm to it and if I go too slowly or too quickly then it doesn't work. Every time I try to put it into words it just falls apart so I guess I can't even put it into words. Anyway, I'm feeling very energized and will be painting up a storm.
Some interesting history and great close-ups of this beautiful painting. I always love seeing the brushstrokes and texture of the painted surface.