Childhood Memories

The photo above is a snippet of an art journal entry. You can see the seam of the journal in the photograph. It is one of my favorite paintings. Why?

This painting was based on a simple afternoon when I was a child. I must have been about 4 or 5 years old. My mother told me that my neighbor was sick. As many youngsters would, I felt compassion for my neighbor…I knew how aweful one felt when sick. So outside I went (back then, and in the area I grew up, that was not uncommon to go out to play without your parents watchful eye), over to the wildflower patch to pick some flowers to give to my sick neighbor.

This was a story that stands out to me because I didn’t give it much thought to do something like that, I didn’t ask permission, and I just did it. If only everything in life were that easy and carefree!

Your assignment: Think about a story from your childhood that stands out in your mind. Use that as inspiration to paint your picture. What was it about that story that stands out? The scenery, the people, the weather, the animals, your feelings? Whatever seems most important about that story, make it stand out. For example, in my story it was the freedom, compassion and flowers (so I made sure I painted wildflowers, and not shown here are the big eyes which represent the compassion).

Imprintably yours,

Karen Pruzansky, Multi-Media Artist

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Where to Find Inspiration

Red-Headed Woodpecker

This painting of a Red-Headed Woodpecker is part of a larger painting, however the story behind it is an example of how I typically find inspiration for paintings.

Once or twice a year my husband and I like to go to the mountains and rent a cabin. The peace and quiet, the accessability to wild nature, the exhileration of a good hike, the views, and the fresh air, draw us back year after year. Being in an environment that is different from our day to day life can bring so much inspiration and creative flow.

After our adventure for the day, we would relax (a lot) and take our dog for a leisurely walk. It is on these walks that I take extra time to observe. It is through these observations, focusing on the uninterrupted life of the forest, that I find inspiration.

On one particular walk, the air was cool, and the colorful fall leaves had already fallen from the trees. The seasonal birds had all flown south, including the tourists. So it was QUIET.

Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw a large bird swoop by. My first thought was of a wild turkey or a hawk. But it was the red on the bird that caught my attention the most. WOW! I had never seen such a large woodpecker before this.

As we continued on our walk, this Red-Headed Woodpecker kept making an appearance, as if it were following us. Perhaps it was interested in observing us as we were it. Or perhaps it was keeping an eye on the dog, who it may have thought was a predator. Who knows.

When you find yourself feeling “WOW!” pay close attention. That is the fuel for inspiration.

Here is your assignment: Go out somewhere different, do something different, slow down and observe. What makes you say WOW! Now go paint that, write about that, create a melody relating to that, choreograph a dance around that. Create with the feelings of “Wow!” that you experienced. Then come back here and share in the comments about your experience. I would love to hear about your results.

Imprintably yours,

Karen Pruzansky, Multi-Media Artist

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