Okay... The past couple of weeks I have been studying the masters. Following what these great artists have done really changes the way you think when you paint. I better understand color and form and also better understand my limitations! A few years ago when I was painting a lot I remember that I began to look around and see the world in brush strokes - everything looked beautiful to me; full of depth and composition. I then entered a time in my life where I just didn't have the time to paint and this seeing slowly ebbed away. When I had the time to think about it - I missed it - but usually I was too busy. I am so grateful that I am in a place now where I can develop my art.
Part of this development has been studying the masters. I am especially enamored with Botticelli's flowers. I was reading that in La Primavera (shown) "a total of five hundred species of plants have been identified in the painting, of which around a hundred and ninety bloom between March and May in the countryside and gardens of Florence." (The Great Masters of Italian Art, Elena Capretti) I realized that in order to paint that many flowers identifiably that man must have been paying attention and recognizing the beauty in his surroundings. Since studying Botticelli and many others, I have noticed that I am beginning to see the beauty around me again. Simple things. The way the leaves cast a shadow on the gas tank, the way my dog rests his head on his paw or the curve of a face. It feels good to see again!