Inspiration for Making Art

Barking Up the Right Trees

Texture. Pattern. Color. Surprise. These elements attract and inspire me as I discover any and all of them in my everyday surroundings. Nature, however, serves up the richest assortment of them, often motivating the next idea to be realized in the studio. Vacations and day trips offer opportunities galore. I decided to share some of them with you today, a bit of a departure from my About the Painting series of posts.

I recently looked back through my thoroughly unorganized collection of images, noticing how often I photographed the bark and exposed roots of trees. I often find myself drawn into the mysterious beauty in the details.

I shot all these images with an iPhone 6, then used Photoshop to posterize them. Posterizing pumps up the contrast and draws out the color.

This twisted intertwining of roots and bark below presented itself on a walk through Fort Worth’s Botanic Gardens.

TreeBarkTexture-2-post-lo

The posterization of this image of tree bark really drew out the blues and golds against the gray.

Tree trunk

How can you not love the bark of the pine tree! I believe this is a Ponderosa pine, a stalwart thing that rises above the pine needles in my son and daughter-in-law’s Evergreen, Colorado, home.

PineBarkTexture-2-post-lo

My recent road trip with my Portland-residing son took us through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City, California. Of course, seeing the old growth Coast Redwoods in all their gigantic glory was awesome, but closeups of the bark made for some equally compelling photos. A little Photoshop magic brought out the mossy greens, while the magenta accents were a sweet surprise.

CoastRedwoodTexture-2-post-lo

You can see in my paintings how nature’s textures take a prominent place in my work. Browse through Large Paintings, Mid-Size Paintings, and Small Paintings, and see if you can spot those inspired by trees.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt

 

 

 

 

Standard
About the Painting

Moon Over Canyon

16342 MoonOverCanyon-lores

Canyons are imposing, mysterious, sometimes intimidating spaces that leave me in awe of the power and wonder of nature. Moon Over Canyon is my attempt to express the experience of being deep in the gorge, looking up to see a silvery blue full moon.

I expressed the tactile character of the canyon wall by playing with a variety of textures– smooth against rough, vertical and crisscross against horizontal and curved, strands of twine near raised circles. The red, orange, ocher, and rust hues of the ravine sing next to a hazy orb of a moon hanging in an arc of midnight sky. I finish off the painting with animating splatters, bringing to mind the life that pulses deep in the canyon.

Moon Over Canyon is 48” x 30” on gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in a contextual photo here. Check out the FAQ page to learn how you may purchase this or any of my paintings.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

Standard
About the Painting

My Jupiter

16382 MyJupiter-lo

Where does inspiration come from? Just about anywhere! A texture seen on a nature walk. The swirl of water as it goes down the drain. A rusted-out pickup. Really, anywhere.

In the case of My Jupiter, the inspiration came when my friend Sharon tagged me on Facebook with an image of the planet Jupiter as seen from one of the poles. She said it reminded her of one of my paintings. That was enough to get me going!

I had no intention of creating one of those typical black-space-with-lots-of-swirls paintings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it just wasn’t a direction that felt authentic to me. I was aiming for more of an earthy (uh, Jupitery?) mandala-like feel.

I started by laying down texture in a circular, very organic pattern that had some of the interesting variations I saw in the original Jupiter image. Everything rotates around a pole and shows the effects of that movement, but the farther away from the center, the more the relationship to the center disintegrates.

16382 MyJupiter-Detail-4-lo

Metallic colors—copper, gold, bronze—with green and ocher create an atmospheric yet down-to-earth appearance to the painting. Layers of glazes give it depth. And the final splatters streak across the canvas to suggest the motion of the universe.

16382 MyJupiter-Detail-1-lo

My Jupiter is 20” x 20” on gallery-wrapped canvas, wired and ready to hang. You can see it in a contextual photo here. From March 25 (Gallery Night) through April, My Jupiter is available at Upstairs Gallery, 1038 W. Abram Street in Arlington, TX.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt


 

Standard
About the Painting

Leaves letting go

16378-lastleaves-lores

Last Leaves celebrates the intersection of fall and winter, the remnants of warmth greeting the waning light of winter, and the prospect of a wintry mix in the forecast. The leaves that have hung on for dear life at last release their color and their grip with a sigh. A jumble of manmade characters intrudes; it reminds me of the urban streets in my Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood that benefit so much from the gift of shade during our intense summers.

16378-lastleaves-detail-3-lores

The background is largely a soft, wintry gray, with bursts of amped-up yellow. Wet-sanded leaf shapes reveal the faded turquoise, red, and orange underneath, and strips of vintage maps. The energy in the change in weather is expressed with a layer of splatters in white, turquoise, and black.

16378-lastleaves-detail-1-lores

Last Leaves is painted using acrylics/mixed media on a 24” x 24” standard wrapped canvas. You can see it in context in the Mid-Sized Paintings section here, and learn how to purchase this or the painting of your choice on the FAQ page.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

Standard
About the Painting

Ocean wetness

16341-deepwater-lo

Ocean colors dominate Deep Water, with deep blues, sky blues, aquas and turquoises, blended with watery greens that all cooperate to immerse the viewer into the ebb and flow. Strips of topographical ocean maps collaged into the painting reinforce the wetness with their torn edges and shades of aqua.

16341-detail-1-lo

I created a highly textured section at the bottom that brings to mind the mystery of the ocean floor. The top section recalls the docks and piers made by human hands. If you look closely, you will see wave shapes I stamped into the design on handmade paper for a whimsical note. I think of them as a treat for those who take the time to dive into the experience of this painting. Final splatters of red, white, pale blue, and almost black blues offer the vitality that creatures contribute to the life of the sea.

16341-detail-2-lo

In planning a painting with water as the subject matter, I wanted to get beyond literal repetition of wave shapes. Each flowing form is different from the next, creating an overall impression of pattern, but with the constant change of  pattern elements. All this was developed over an underlying structure of textural marks that I find a necessary element in my work.

16341-detail-3-lo

We human beings seek out bodies of water. Rivers, lakes, ponds, oceans, even puddles, are places where we renew out souls. This tall, narrow painting creates the opportunity to dive deep into peace, cleansing, and regeneration. It’s well-suited to inhabit a narrow vertical space in your home or office, and to remind you of your favorite ocean dreams and seaside memories.

Deep Water is an acrylics/mixed media painting, 20” x 60” on gallery-wrapped canvas. See it in context here, and learn about the purchase process on the FAQ page.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

 

Standard