Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Inspiration

 Watercolor painting by Joel Optholt

Finding inspiration in the depth of winter can sometimes be a challenge.  Here in the Chicagoland Midwest, it sometimes feels like we're hibernating in between going about our daily lives of working.   There are the challenges of bundling up every time we step outdoors and moving slower everywhere we go because of the snow.  I think of this time of year as "filling the well".  Here are a few of the things that inspire me.  The above painting was done by my talented brother.  His watercolors are done in a style uniquely his.  I often think of "stealing" some more of his watercolors when I go to his house.

 Evening Pines by Deborah Paris

I feel so lucky to own this original oil painting by Deborah Paris.  I've taken online classes from her and continue to learn from this very talented artist.  Her work has certainly inspired by own painting and      is a constant source of inspiration. This painting hangs in my dining room and I sometimes take it off the wall to examine this painting up close.   

 Landscape Study #28l by Tracy Helgeson

This small landscape study by Tracy Helgeson inspires me on a daily basis.  Tracy is not afraid to use vivid color in her landscapes.  She is a prolific artist and is completely original with her designs.  Here you can see the layers she uses in her painting.  I'm in awe. 


 This is a good time to dust off some old titles in the library.  Reading certainly inspires the soul.


My latest addition to the library is A History of American Tonalism:  1880-1920.  My goal is to read it from cover to cover.  It explains the mentality and philosophy of the American artists in historical terms.  But that's a subject for another post.

Where are all of you gather inspiration from at this time of year?

10 comments:

Betsy said...

I didn't know your brother was an artist, too! But ever since he photographed your paint spatters and saw the beauty in that, I knew he at least had an eye for good art! What a lovely watercolor that is...I'm sooo impressed! The talent certainly runs in your family!

And yes...we in the midwest ARE hibernating! ha.

Caroline said...

Lovely little trip over to your place Janelle, thanks for sharing it all with us. That is interesting about your brother being an artist too it looks a lovely painting. You bought the Tonalist book oh I am still pondering that one as I had to buy some art materials today so once again I have to wait for that book. Let us know what you think about it. It must be a source of inspiration to have a Deborah Paris painting in your home I wish I could see it for real! You are right we learn so much from her classes. I do hope to see the start of your painting stages in oils here soon, will you work on more than two at a time? Look forward to seeing the works in progress soon. Keep warm over there in the snow.

SamArtDog said...

I assume being in Hawaii stokes inspiration I can use when I get home. For now, getting off the porch, the beach and the bike precludes being at all productive at anything but soaking it all in. Oh, and being grateful.

SamArtDog said...

What our shelves have in common:
Barbara Kingsolver and tracy Helgeson.
We keep good company, don't we?

Celeste Bergin said...

great post, Janelle! I am in some shows this winter...and I am "required" to be inspired. I read and go for walks...and I look at paintings in museums. I sometimes copy a master, or a detail of a master.

Karen said...

You put is so well, the hibernating...ugh!
i buy flowers
I look at the shadows in the snow
I make plans for Spring! :)

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Brrr! Chicago is cold, even making the news down here in Houston.
That book looks fantastic, I can see how you would savor every word cover to cover.
Stay warm and happy recharging, it's sometimes nice to curl up with a good book.
Joan

loriann said...

Hi Janelle, Thanks for the visit to your home. Your hibernation looks full of richness.
Kittens and dreams keep me company.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Betsy, My brother is incredibly talented. But for years he didn't paint because of his corporate job. I'm hoping he'll get back into it. Here's hoping the hibernation doesn't last too long:)

Hi Caroline, Oh the Tonalism book is incredible! It's hard to stay interested in the text because the paintings in the book are amazing:) I feel lucky to have one of Deborah's paintings, she's so talented. Trying to finish up those paintings!

Hi Sam, Ha, yes Barbara Kingsolver and Tracy Helgesen, what could be better! I'm glad you enjoyed your Hawaii trip. It's so good to soak up the sun once in a while.

Hi Celeste, Interesting that you find reading and going for walks inspirational. Those two activities seem to prime the pump. Wish I could see your amazing work in person!

Hi Karen, We're still hibernating, right?:) Buying flowers is a great idea. Of course you paint some wonderful flower paintings. How about those peonies? Are you planning any more of those? I can't get that pink out of my mind, sigh.

Hi Joan, Yes, curling up with a good book is the best part of winter. We're expecting 60 degree weather tomorrow, so there should be a big thaw. Yay!

Hi Loriann, I think of you all the time and am grateful that you're feeling better. You're an inspiration to us all!

Pat Sinatra said...

I, too, take Tracey Helgeson's painting off my wall to look deeper to better understand her technique, and her "evocative" style. One of my favorite contemporary artists.