“Tears of joy are like the summer raindrops pierced by sunbeams.” - Hosea Ballou
The summertime holds an unspeakable amount of magic. Children of all ages count down the days till the start of summer, knowing that hours spent cooped up in classrooms will be traded for days on the beach and afternoons in the sunshine, frolicking outdoors without a care in the world. For all of us, darker winter months give way to sunnier springs and even sunnier summers. I love this season. The world comes alive and people come together, throwing their doors and windows open and gathering on the lawns - behavior that stands in stark contrast to the sealed-shut homes braced against the cold in the winter months.
This season provides perfect opportunities for creativity to flourish, both indoors and out. I find one of the most refreshing times to paint to be during or immediately following a summer storm. As the sky opens up and the humidity breaks, dousing the world with sheets of rain, a refreshing calm settles in. The soothing sound of droplets drumming on the roof is the perfect soundtrack for a calm painting session. As the rain flows, so do the paint and creativity. As the storm subsides, serenity settles over everything as well. The sun reemerges from the dark clouds, casting light on dewy blades of grass and slick sidewalks. One of my favorite smells is that of a fresh rainfall. The earthy, light scent makes every breath in feel bright and revitalized. I love the inspiration that comes from these summer afternoons. Blues, greens, and earthy tones dominate the paintings inspired by these rainy-day sessions.
Equally inspiring are the fair-weathered days spent outdoors under the pleasant summer sky. Reveling in the sunshine with a journal is another one of my favorite summer activities. I like to spend time in the garden or on the beach, taking in the sights, the sounds, and the smells of summer. Whether its the fresh scent of blossoming flowers or the salty air and crashing waves, I record the sensations and thoughts that spark my imagination and prompt painting possibilities. Taking advantage of the sunshine and the joy ever-present during these months is of the utmost important to me. My inspiration journal is as much of a summer-essential as sunscreen or a beach bag, and I encourage you to similarly make it a staple! Take a beach trip and jot down those sensory experiences, from the laughter of children splashing in the water to the feeling of the sun beaming down on your neck. Sketch the images that strike you, write down the words that pop into your head, and turn to this journal when you’re back in your studio for painting inspiration.
Summertime is magical for children and adults alike, and these warm months are a gift to artists. Enjoy the rain, the sun, and the inspiration in these upcoming weeks!
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