>How do I come up with subjects to paint?

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Something Fishy IV
by Cathy Hegman

This is where the creativity begins. In order to find inspiration I just open my eyes. It is everywhere. Just as an example, take the photo of the river in the previous post. I moved back out to the farm 2 years ago when my youngest son left for college. This move stirs many emotions for me. I feel the isolation of the move from the city to the country, the unknown of what is ahead for me with no more children at home, the physical seperation from my children, etc. The list goes on and on. I look for things around me that can symbolize the emotion I am feeling. The river as a body of water is home to fish of all kinds and other creatures yet it moves constantly. That movement is metaphorical to my life always moving, discovering, growing never static. I like to use animals as symbols and metaphors for events in my life and to mimic my human emotions. The subject that comes to mind in this instance is fish. Aha! now we have the subject to paint, the door is wide open for our interpretation of the subject. When I lived in town I had two fish ponds in my back yard with Koi fish in them. I enjoyed them so much so now they represent joy to me, not to mention I loved drawing and painting them. Their colors were intense and seemed to have been painted on by an artist. I will use the Koi fish as my subject. I like to paint in a series. I usually try to vary some aspect of the painting to make it common to the others in the series yet stand on its own as a painting alone as well. I have a demo on my website (www.cathyhegman.com) of the technique I used on these paintings. The painting at the top is the latest in the series “Something Fishy IV”,it is acrylic on canvas. I used warm colors to paint the cold blooded fish this is another way to use contrast in your paintings. I find contrast adds a great deal to the meaning behind your paintings. I use my work to communicate emotions and feelings. I very seldom paint totally in representationally or photographically. I admire the technique of the photo realists, but my goal is not to reproduce something I see but to interpret what I feel about the subject.Now to recap the lesson here on finding subject matter or inspiration.
1. look around you.
2. Relate your life to what you see around you at this point in time.
3. Study the emotions that come from this linkage of your surroundings to your emotions.
4. Paint the subject in the way you feel and don’t get caught up in the subject itself, but dwell more on the emotion you feel. This will allow you to paint with your heart and hand.Thank you for reading and take care!
All artwork and photography on this blog is solely created and copyrighted by Cathy Hegman and may not be reproduced or used without Cathy Hegman’s written permission.
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About Cathy S. Hegman

Art, much like a road links people together both visually and mentally. One can attain a glimpse inside the artist’s soul by studying the artist’s work, and perhaps find something that links them to the artist and the art. A work of art has the ability to resonate and touch the emotions without regard to age, gender, race, or religion through the application of pigment to canvas or paper. Art can be the voice that cries out without limits, or sometimes whispers the thoughts of the creator. Art speaks silently, yet conjures up feelings and gives satisfaction that is undeniable, and yet intrinsic. It validates our need to learn about ourselves, and gives us freedom to search for our own identities. The road is long and often dusty, but always renewing the spirit with inspiration. It is my hope in this lifetime to give a part of what I have learned through and on my journey with others. The deepest form of us is revealed in our thoughts and my art is the translation of my thoughts to paper and canvas. I paint layers of color and line to create a history of marks that will guide the viewer into my world of thought and engage them in the process. I embed personal symbols throughout my art to give it deeper meaning. I encourage you to think about life in a visual way and to contemplate our connections with each other and the world we share.
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4 Responses to >How do I come up with subjects to paint?

  1. LaLa says:

    >very informative—–guess I would only paint poodles {{giggle}}

  2. >Love your blog!!! Guess we all know which sister got all the talent in the family 🙂

  3. tommie stewart says:

    Cat…I love love love everything you do. I come to your blog often and
    enjoy your beautiful thoughts down on paper. I am truly a fan….and
    appreciate your willingness to share your talent…tommie

    • Thank you Tommie! I am so glad you enjoy them. I really have found the blog to be a sort of relief spout for the pent up emotions I have about my work. I am always so happy that someone can relate and understand them. That is the true blessing and gift of art.
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! Take care

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