Art Gallery Gauvin

Australian Bush Legends

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Capture and Store Your Inspirations

Infinite possiblities

Those 'flashes' of inspiration come in an instant but go just as fast unless you grab hold of them. Here's the easy way to do it...

Your best works of art can arise from a single, fleeting impression.
A random thought, a memory triggered by a snatch of song, a whiff of scent, the colour of a breeze-borne leaf. On its own, that impression will be forgotten in a flash – that's just the way our brain is wired. It needs connections to lay down menories that last.

  • Knowing that, you can 'fix' any impression and keep it in mind for future use if you use one of these methods of recording it.

1.Take paper and pen, make a sketch, a diagram, a doodle.
You write a note - short or as detailed as you need - describing what you saw or thought about just
as the 'light bulb went on.' You sketch the item that caught your attention, adding a few washes of colour if needed.

  • File those precious scraps of paper in your studio. Keep a special drawer, basket, bin, anything you like. One, single place dedicated to holding those inspirations until you have time to express them in paint.
  • ( Musicians and writers can and do use this same method.)
  • Let me illustrate this with just one of many, personal experiences.

One morning, while I crossed our hallway to another room, I noticed light flooding from a half-open door. As the Sun was only two hours into its rise, the low angle focused the beamlike a torch. The light was falling onto a favourite art print that hangs on the wall opposite. Any sensible person would've worried about damage from our strong tropical sunlight.

What I saw was the thread of an idea about a new way to compose the pictures I had in mind for my next series. I made a lightning sketch, scribbled on a page from the kitchen notepad. As I lay in bed that night, waiting for sleep, I began visualising the effects I might achieve with this idea. Over following days I spent many more hours processing these ideas until I was ready to put the first newly stretched canvas on the easel.

  • Today, as I begin the final painting in the series, the impact of that initial 'flash' remains as fresh in memory as when it happened, thirteen years ago.

2.Develop a 'virtual palette' and use it wherever you go.
Make a habit of using your 'Virtual Palette' to mix the pigments for the items that catch your artist's eye in the real world. Here's an example of how to use this.

You're driving along the highway as the Sun sinks towards the horizon. Growing at the sides of the road are clumps of tall, wild grasses. They shake in the breeze of your passing. The orange light seems to set fire to their feathery, seed-filled tassels.

  • Your artist's mind instantly takes up tubes of Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red. You dip the point of a painting knife into your Titanium White and smear that morsel on an edge of your 'virtual palette.' At this point, you can't know if White will be needed for the tassels.
  • If the Sun is already below the horizon, you might have chosen the cooler Yellow Ochre or even Raw Sienna instead of Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson instead of the Cad Red. Everything about your colour choices depends on the light.

click here and I'll share with you a tool that will give you command of colour in a way that will become as easy so-called 'colour-instinct.' ©Dorothy Gauvin


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