Wednesday, June 1

Finding That Great Motif

The Living Room Window
Acrylic on Paper
Copyright 2011
Today’s blog is about looking around the everyday places in which you live and finding the motifs that are available to you. We live in a hurry-up, internet-enable world, and we (or I) forget to take advantage of what’s literally at our finger tips or not more than a stone’s throw away.

It does not matter if you live in the rural countryside, an urban neighborhood, or a suburban setting, just stop and look around. If you take the time to not only look but also see, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you may find.

For example, close-up photos of plants, tree leaves, insects, and maybe even critters make wonderful motifs. Try catching these in a different light at different times of the day or weather conditions. My favorite time is about an hour before sundown on a clear day—this is called the “golden hour” in Hollywood filming and production because of the vibrant and striking colors at this time of day in addition to the long and interesting shadows.

But you don’t even have to go outside. You have great motifs sitting around your house just waiting to be discovered. Look around the kitchen or dining room for subjects of food and/or china and silverware (or plastic plates and spoons) that can make a great still life either in a contemporary or representational painting.

Today’s image is a view out of the living room window with the sun shining through that I thought captured a great effect of lighting and shadows.

So, you don’t have to go to Paris or Pompeii or Peru to find the perfect motif. Just stop. And look around.

Happy Painting!


  1. Your painting is very evocative. Good job!

  2. Thanks. I always appreciate your thoughtful and informative comments. I recently remembered one can paint what one knows and doesn't (always) need some breath-taking motif to be inspired.