Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Fine Art of Being Prepared

Last week when I was traveling back from my teaching engagement in Medford, Oregon, I took an unexpected road off the highway. I had just given a painting demonstration to a group of new students so my brushes, paints, and canvases were in my truck and ready to go.
It had been raining and magnificent cloud formations with impressive light effects covered the sky. I drove by an old pear orchard looking for a road that would take me back to Ashland, when I noticed an awesome scene of a blossoming pear tree with an old barn as a backdrop. The sky opened and a beam of sunlight lit up the metal roof creating a dramatic moment of contrasting lights and darks. I pulled over quickly, gathered my painting supplies, and began mixing my foundation color. An artist must be ready at all times to create when inspiration strikes.

A writer has sharp pencils and paper in a shirt pocket to jot down notes. A cook always had a collection of spices in his kitchen ready to create the next extravaganza. The artist must have supplies at hand to be able to catch the moment of inspiration and transfer it to canvas. A travel bag outfitted with these basic essentials will serve you well whenever you want to create: red, yellow, and blue paint, a palette, canvas, brushes, turp, and paper towels. Like a good scout, be prepared for anything.