The Ramblings of a Creative Soul

Friday, April 23, 2010

Inspiration Series - Part 4

I have viewed the walls of my home as a gallery. My gallery is very eclectic and I like that. Everything that hangs there is an original piece of art. I love thinking that they are unique and created by people who used that outlet to say something. There is a marvelous small watercolor landscape done by my husband's great-great-aunt. Her brother, his great-grandfather, was a well known painter but I find myself drawn to her work. I have paintings done by my husband and sons as well as my uncle. I love how they use color. I also have photographs, many taken by a friend whose muse is our old barn. His photo of the windows of the barn looks like a painting done by Andrew Wyeth. Most of the artwork in my gallery is of landscapes. Nature holds a huge influence on me.

Our friend the photographer and his wife own a lovely little gallery in The Little Italy section of Cleveland. They hosted an exhibition for a landscape painter named Angela Saxon. I was drawn to her use of color. She paints in all sizes - from the back of a playing card to massive canvas. Several of her paintings reminded me of one of my favorite painters, Mark Rothko. I decided to ask her what inspires her.

What should I paint?

I have always been an artist. As a little kid, when asked what I wanted to be, I always replied, 'an artist.' But then there was that question of what to paint or what to draw. I remember asking my mom this question many times. I suppose she offered some suggestions, but somehow the void was never filled.

I went to college to study art, and still was asking the same question….what should I paint? I earned my BFA in painting, and made a lot of paintings in the process. I explored color and pattern, the still life and interiors, and the general moving around of paint. But something was always missing--I was still searching.

A few years after graduating, after marrying and having my first daughter, our family moved to northern Michigan. I don't know what my exact feelings about landscape painters or landscape paintings was, but it wasn't necessarily something I ever thought I'd strive for.

But there it was. The landscape. Staring me in the face all day every day. It is spectacularly beautiful in northern Michigan, in any time of the year. After a few months I finally started to paint it. And the more I paint it the more I see. My eye then and now is just drawn into intimate spaces in the landscape. Light playing across a meadow, huge clouds towering over the lake, it's always captivating to me. Sometimes I wonder how many times I can paint a cloud over a lake, but so far it's new to me every time. And I thing that it is through this subject matter that my work is starting to move away from the literal, expressing more of the emotion of what I'm looking at, not just the imagery. Go figure.

Angela's work can be found at:

Thanks for sharing, Angela.


Lime Green Rhinestones said...

Angela, I can totally relate. Thankfully it has passed for me too (a sign of maturity perhaps?). But what a struggle - I'm so glad it's over.

jacqm said...

yeah-its like, the more you look, the more you are able to see.

one thing that would hit me back when i was driving to work in rush hour was, all these cars on the freeway going about their business never lifting their eyes to see the glorious sky--it's displayed daily for us all-and so few of us ever even notice.

Simple Elements Design said...

I often have the same thought when driving. I'll notice a hawk sitting in a tree or incredible clouds and think I wonder if anyone else noticed?