Some years back, as I was setting up for the Open Studios show we used to do in Yountville, a friend popped around the corner, took in the oranges and blues of one painting in particular (where the blues were a little purple-ish) for just a second or two, and exclaimed, “Poppies and lupine!” — though it was a vineyard scene. 🙂
It occurred to me that one of my favorite places when I was a child was the half-acre meadow next-door to our house, where we lived till I was seven. A golden palomino named April lived there, and I called it “April’s Field.”
Each spring it was filled with beautiful California poppies and blue lupine. (Appropriately named, wasn’t it?) I loved taking it in, climbing in between the strands of barbed wire, walking into the middle of it, and feeling surrounded by flowers!
But it had never occurred to me before that it might have influenced the colors that I eventually evolved into loving perhaps the most… and which really came to life after I’d moved back up to northern California, and was once again surrounded by the colors I’d loved so much growing up.
(You may guess, seeing poppies and lupine always makes me smile.)
Perhaps that's why, when I was working on my "Beauty from Ashes" series after the Northern California wildfires, and feeling the need to rise from the ashes, I could see patterns of poppies in fields, in closeup photographs I'd taken of the melted corrugated metal of my barn studio's roof.
I finally painted some small pieces of poppies, as demonstrations of different approaches to abstract landscape and rhythm-and-pattern paintings, a couple of years ago (no lupine, though! Not yet, anyway).
Have you considered where your painting influences come from? Perhaps they come from artists you’ve admired for years… or the environment around you… or perhaps new discoveries during these last couple of years?
Or perhaps they may have come from the first few years of your childhood, along with the wonder and delight they originally evoked, that tucked themselves into your subconscious, and pop up into the artwork you make today....
You never know... it's possible!
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am a working artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in northern California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes, workshops, and private lessons, live in Calistoga, and have my art studio in Santa Rosa, California.