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.


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.


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.


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





About the Painting

My Jupiter

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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.

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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.

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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


New Art

Blue Ribbons and red dots

Gallery Night back in September was exciting for me. I participated in two art events, Art in the Garden and Preservation is the Art of the City. Imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into Art in the Garden’s exhibit space for the reception, and spotted a big ole blue ribbon on Aspen Energy! Recognition is, well, fun.


Historic Fort Worth’s Preservation is the Art of the City show was exciting as well. Six of the ten pieces I exhibited enjoyed red dots. The Grove, Birdhouse Love, Dewdrops on Canyon Wall, Blue Mystery, and Into the Woods are now gracing the walls of new homes. Enjoy the work. I’ll be back soon.