A curious image from memory to paint… Destiny revealed

"A White House on the Hill", Acrylic, 12 x 12", Karen Gillis Taylor

“A White House on the Hill”, Acrylic, 12 x 12″, Karen Gillis Taylor

Houses in the Greek Isles like Mykonos are brilliant white, and remind me a little of  the adobe houses of New Mexico, which are a more earthy color. When I “build” cities in paintings from my imagination, they are often reminiscent of places I’ve traveled to. You know when you have a dream, and it takes you from place to place as it evolves? That happens for me when I’m creating a new cityscape. Feels like a very subconscious thing is going on.

I start by drawing shapes. Then my very small sketch seems to suggest a city scene that must be painted. I often add values, then plan the colors. It can be a very loose plan, but something to provide a good start for me to become excited about.

When I see this little white house in the background of this painting, I can almost imagine myself trudging up a steep street of an interesting and colorful town. My friend Terry and I did a lot of “trudging” up and down the streets of Europe in our summer of discovery as college students. There were often donkeys on the road. And grandmothers wearing black, watering their pots of flowers and scolding their little children, but in a loving way. We both still remark on how we still have more vivid memories of that summer than almost any other travel since.

What a gift that compilation of memories sticks with me even today. No wonder I came back home at the end of the trip and immediately signed up for art classes at my university. Destiny happened.

Where does your imagination take you? Forwards, back in time or both?

My friend Terry, left and Karen (me) right.

My friend Terry, left and Karen (me) right. Summer of 2014, still great friends.

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