Coming Home to Inspiration for a Life & Artistry

I’ve heard it said that you can never go home again. I don’t know if this is true or not. Last month I went home for the last time. What I discovered made me glow . . .

Can you feel it in this painting?

Each color juxtaposes another, shimmering reflections in the river where I played as a girl. I wish you could see this painting in person. It is three by four feet and glows when you stand beside it.

Reflected Brilliance by Dorothy Fagan
Reflected Brilliance, oil, 36″ x 48″

Coming Home

Revisiting my childhood home in October, I walked trails where I played as a kid.  It really struck me ~ how clearly and distinctly inspiration for my artistry was formulated ~ from a very early age.

I went home to attend a class reunion, though my family no longer lives in the area. It seemed a one-time window of opportunity to visit Mom and Dad’s grave and the graves of both sets of my grandparents. I found myself thinking of a trail where we’d hiked many times, down behind our house on the hill.

Waking up in the hotel Saturday morning, my attention was fixed on coffee and the wooden bridge where Dad and I’d taken a picture on a rock by the stream. Googling Panera, I quickly checked off the first order of business. Remembering that I would need cash for the reunion later in the day, google directed me to my bank.

Indian Lake
Indian Lake

Many roads looked unfamiliar when a sign “Indian Trail” sparked something vague. Around the narrow neighborhood street, Indian Lake appeared in full autumn splendor. Crimson trees reflected in deep ultramarine water, houses nestled closely together. I parked and got out of the car.

The only thing I remember of living in that little cottage on Indian Lake are two photographs. One of me with my sister, in a cardboard box on a sled ~ being pulled across the frozen lake. The other, a photo of me tethered to the tree in the yard ~ so I would not fall in the lake! We moved when I was 3.

Discovering My Vision for Life & Artistry

Visiting the places I walked with my dad, feels like stitching pieces of a quilt together. My new series of paintings, Coming to the River, is that quilt. In my next post, I will show you more of my inspiration for the quilt and how the pieces fit together.

Coming to the River Series
Muses of Tuscany Retreat
Oil Painting Gallery
Get Dorothy’s Palette

DIGITAL BOOK Coming to the River

 

Tonalist Painting ~ A Meditative Stimulus to Creative Powers

A good way to increase creative powers is to study or paint tonalist paintings. Creative powers are stimulated by slowing down and becoming aware of subtle changes of color and light.

In our fast-paced, bright, loud world, this balance is essential for continued health and well-being. Awareness and sensitivity are stimulated by even short exposures to these subtleties of light and color.

Even momentary observation of subtle changes in hue and value heighten one’s creative abilities significantly. Moment by moment, bit by bit, awareness increases and creative skills show themselves in unexpected ways.

Remember, creative power is not measurable in the way we think of tracking progress. Creative power shows itself between the cracks, literally and figuratively. It is in those moments we let go, however short or infrequent, that the Creative Source steps in offering gifts.

Meditative, the process of letting the eye wander amid nuances of color releases attachments. Without struggle, creative powers are released to function as they are designed to operate. The body heals, ideas flow, wellness is maintained in a balanced state.

value painting
Tre Sorelle di Poggio, oil, 10 x 10

Tonalist Painting Exercise

Mix each color to fall into a mid-value range. If the value scale from nearly black to nearly white is 10 points, a mid-range set of values would be 4, 5 and 6. This painting is an example of a mid-range value painting.

Painting this, I worked en plein air on a misty October afternoon. I was initially attracted to the russet color of an autumn tree in the foreground. However, my painting is more of a tonalist essay reflecting the quiet autumn day.

Stepping back to look for tones which pop out as too light or too dark, will help in adjusting their values.

For more examples of tonalist paintings look at works by John Henry Twachtman.

Book a Talk about Tonalist Painting & Creativity for your group

 

Color Play ~ Inspired by Watercolor Study

A watercolor I made several weeks ago has been on my mind. Today I found myself painting it in oils.

color play
Homage to the Sun II, oil, 11 x 14

The watercolor was a clean, simple color study. The oil, however, became much more of a complex color game.

color field
Homage to the Sun, watercolor, 8.25 x 11.8″, Handmade Garza Watercolor Paper

I like them both. Each for different reasons.