Creating a painting or drawing on site is an ideal way to fix the memory of a beautiful location in your mind. But sometimes even if you bring a very scaled down assortment of art supplies, you may not realistically have the time to paint or draw, and taking a photo might be the most practical way to bring a visual souvenir home. Some of my studio students used their own photographs of places they visited to create wonderful paintings.
Amy made this vibrant acrylic painting based on a photo she took during her family's trip to Hawaii. Makes me wish I was there.
Coincidentally, Matthew's family went to Hawaii at a different time, and he used one of his photographs as reference for his first acrylic painting. Although at first, Matthew was reluctant to switch from drawing to painting, he embraced the materials to create this luscious scene of Hawaii.
Can movies provide inspiration for paintings of places? Why not? In another acrylic painting, Isabella referenced her memory of the truffula trees in the movie The Lorax, based on the Dr. Seuss book. She also added creative color and design elements of her own.
Megan is working on a beautiful acrylic painting of a Cape Cod lighthouse. Since her family tradition is to spend part of their summer vacations together on the Cape, her photograph of this location had special meaning for her. As she began to block in flat areas of color, her painting reminded me of Fairfield Porter's work, and I shared a book of his paintings with her. Seeing this American master's work validated Megan's decision to continue to explore flat color, with some painterly additions. Can't wait to see the finished piece.