For the past several weeks, I have been working on a piece that got it's inspiration from my Utah vacation last summer. My husband and I spent some time exploring Marysvale and the surrounding area. Utah is so beautiful that you can't help but be inspired. Most people go on vacation for a week or two a year and enjoy their destination, snap some photos and maybe even post some of their favorites on facebook. For the most part, these photos soon are set aside to collect dust on the shelf along with the many other albums and scrapbooks. Not so when you're an artist. Those vacation photos are so much more than a pretty collection of sunsets, trees and mountain ranges. Rather they are important research materials.
So, every time I tear into the plastic wrapping to open a new canvas and I place that blank, stretched cloth on my easel, I begin to remember those details. My mind begins sorting out those scenes from the clutter of today's busy life and I soon am dusting off the memories of a pleasant and peaceful Utah afternoon. Soon I am transported back, walking among the tall grass, surrounded by beautiful trees and the music of the Sevier River moving past. I can hear the sound of the creaking boards from an old bridge that spans it's banks, built over 100 years ago and now abandoned. It is the blessing that artists like myself get to experience when they find themselves deep in the their creation. How hard I work, trying to capture that moment in time and have my audience feel that same amazement and peace I felt on that beautiful Utah afternoon.
I look at other artists and their amazing talent to paint breathtaking landscapes and know that I may never reach that skill level, but I am so in love with the feeling I get when I am deep in a painting. That feeling that wakes me up in the middle of the night so that I lay there considering what changes I need to make. No, I will not give up. Being an artists is an amazing blessing because I get to revisit my experiences over and over and so while I may be in my studio working, I am actually "Gone on Vacation".