The well of experience that I draw from to create includes everything I experience. To keep the waters of creativity flowing, it's very important that I continue to experience new things and experiment with different viewpoints.
Changing my viewpoint is a lot easier when I try something new that always pushes me to learn. One of the easiest methods to bring fun and positive change into my life is athletics. Stand up paddle boarding has become one of my favorite sports. This is my third summer of paddle boarding and I'm hooked. I've learned to surf ocean waves, wind-driven lake waves, and paddled rivers. Besides being fun, stand up paddleboarding puts me in to intimate contact with nature. I'm often on waterways that have their own life rhythms and images.
Last weekend I went on a 35 mile downriver paddle with some of our local stand up paddling group. (You can read more about paddle boarding on the SUP Stand up Paddle blog my husband I and share.) The nine hours we were on the Deschutes River in Oregon, filled my senses with both obvious imagery and more subtle experiences.
I work animal and plant images into all of my paintings regardless of the style I'm working in. Here are a few examples of oil paintings I've done that focus on animals. The Blue Heron is a large 4' x 6' oil of an experience I had watching a Blue Heron fly through the forest before dawn. The Eagle is a raptor that I see often on the High Desert Plateau near my home. The Deer Herd is often in my garden (eating or drinking!). Flora, fauna, madonnas and figures populate my imagery and flow from my actual experiences. Figure drawing once a week keeps me in touch with on of my favorite artistic disciplines, stand up paddle boarding is another type of discipline. It's all good!