Thursday, February 25

Go Outside, Paint Your Neighborhood

Waiting for Breakfast
Oil on Canvas Panel
10 x 8 in/25.4 x 20.3 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2015
If you read artists' magazines, either in print or online, or if you spend time looking at your favorite artists' websites, you may think that you have to be either well-traveled or well-off (or both) to find an interesting, pretty, or eye-catching motif.

I say this because to look at most of these painters' paintings, it appears they all have traveled to locations with fantastic scenery or semi-exotic views. I'm talking about locations such as lakes in Italy, California coastlines, rocky Maine seacoasts, the south of France, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.....

I'm here to tell you, all you have to do is--go outside.

What a simple concept and cost efficient as well. You don't need to travel to en plein air competitions or Paris or Sydney harbor or the Grand Canyon. No, just walk down the street.

Whether you live in the urban core, city suburbs, or a small town, there are plenty of fine motifs for painting. Open you eyes.

Painters are supposed to have visual and creative abilities. If you can't find something pleasing to paint around your neighborhood, then maybe you need to find something else to spend your time on.

Today's image was painted not far from my backyard. I'm near a relatively small bayou and when you cross the bridge at the end of the street you can often see birds, such as hawks or blue herons, fish, and turtles up and down the banks. On this sunny morning, a lone egret was fishing for her breakfast.

So, next time you think there's nothing to paint--just go outside.

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