Finding Your Themes

I have been dwelling a great deal recently on the sort of subjects and motifs I find appealing. There are so many ways one could try to depict the visual world around us. 

Is it an angry message I want to convey or a poetic one? Something purely about color or mood? How should it come out? Something felt from within or something seen and necessary to record? Or a combination of all of the above? Where to start?

People shopping at a farmers' market in La Quinta, California
La Quinta Market Day

Several possible pathways suggest themselves. I find for example that I have always been drawn to human activity in a peaceful mode. Folks in restaurants enjoying themselves, promenading in a park, buying and selling products at markets, or perhaps going to the theatre to see a show.

I find civilized humans at peace the highest kind of happiness, and with so much constantly surrounding us that is chaos, cruelty and of course death- a welcome respite from all those things are essential to just getting on with life and waking each day. (And actually enjoying doing so!) 

Shopper, Farmer’s Market

Which brings me to one of the subjects I’ve turned to throughout the decades: farmers’ markets!

I love everything about them, as they bring all these disparate elements together. The hustle and bustle; the back and forth conversations; the sense of life and abundance. Only a peaceful world allows for these interactions, and to add to my satisfaction there is a wealth of visuals to delight the senses. The billowing white tents form a collective cascade against the buildings lurking behind them, along with the variety of the wares for sale. To top it all off-the vivid color patterns of all the clothing people wear! 

I could spend hours creating people from my memory and imagine them in these places. I’ve put together here a few recent examples of paintings I’ve done as well as others I’ve painted in the past, and with luck they evoke some of the joy I feel towards regular folk just doing what they do best- being out and about. 

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