Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Color, Inspiration and School Buses

I am often asked about how I get my ideas and inspiration.  This is a common conversation between myself and my artist friends as well.  I have one artist friend, Riitta Klint, who paints amazing landscapes.  She thinks that maybe they are from distant childhood memories.  She grew up a child of the world, living in several countries because her father's work took her there.  I have seen her paint.  She moves quickly, intuitively building layer upon layer of color, tone and texture.  If you want to look at more of her work, go to her studio Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Riitta-Klint-Studio/306189237669.   
Riitta Susanna Klint
"Weeping Nomad Sky "
While I had a wonderful childhood, I don't believe that I harvest any of my ideas from that time in my life.  I did have a series of student work during my BFA that addressed bullying and the dynamics between women, which was a source of personal tragedy for me as a teenager.  I also did a lot of work that touched on other women's issues.  Here are a few images of that time in my career. 
Lesley Litrento

"In Service"
Lesley Litrento

"You've Got Your Mother's Eyes"
BFA Graduate Show
Lesley Litrento

"You've Got Your Mother's Eyes"
Lesley Litrento

But today, I would say that most of my inspiration comes from a source from within that yearns for colors and the dynamic play between them.  I am not so much into the conceptual aspects of my art, although I am sure that they are present in everything I create.  I am certainly inspired by the colors around me as I go about my day living in a tropical locale.  Here is an image of a painting that I completed not too long ago.  I did a series of these paintings and have yet to name them.  They are kinda a colorful representation of tropical fruit and fauna.
Lesley Litrento
When I paint, like this image above, I feel open and free......like I am expressing something from deep within my psyche.   It's fun and expressive.  I currently do not feel the need to justify my art.  It's liberating and I am content with the place I am presently occupying.  Ahh........

So, I have had this little table resting on the landing halfway up my stairway. (image below) It's been there since we completed the re-paint of half the interior of the house.  The mirror in the image has been removed.  I realized a few days ago that the shape was just all wrong for the space.

I have been toying with color. Yes, I am painting this little table. Shhhh..... Don't try and tell me not too!  I haven't been able to make a decision, so the table just sits waiting.  There are a lot of dynamics.  You can see this table as you enter the house through the dining area.  A lot of visual information and colors are at play.
This was taken before I placed
the table on the landing. 
But you get the idea.  A lot going on...

Okay......so here is the kinda crazy artist thing that happened.  I was in the car at the crack of dawn taking my son to his high school.  I am sitting at a light and a school bus pulls right up behind my little car.  All I can see out the back of my window is school bus yellow. 

It triggers the following image in my brain.....

I saw this desk a few days ago on a Linky Party.  It was a re-do by Katie at Craptastic.  (That's right.  That is her blog name.  I'm not kidding.)  She calls this desk, Old As Dirt.  That made me laugh then and I am laughing now.  Regardless, I have been seeing a lot of this yellow color on the blogs lately.  I have been wanting to try it out.

Okay, so back to the school bus......I am sitting at this traffic light with this school bus in my back window thinking of Katie's desk.  It all of a sudden occurs to me that THIS is the color I will paint the little table on the stairway landing.  I am also working on a large bookcase for the master bedroom, but this little project can be slide in on the side.  Perfect! 

This is the crazy way that my mind works.  I store what seems to be useless information, only to bring it right back up at the appropriate time.  So, I gotta get crackin' on all of this..... I would like to show you the results this week.  My finish carpenter is here again today working on the bead board in the master bedroom.  Hope to show you some of the progress this week as well.

Sherwin Williams, here I come.  Gotta pick out a mustard yellow for this little table.  But first, I gotta drop my daughter off at her middle school.........

-The End-


Vicky said...

Lesley, you are amazing! What a wonderful gift you have. I love everything I see!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Lesley! I love your projects and funny..there are some similarities to how our minds work..storing away some image, or piece of info, that comes up later in our work! Thanks for the plug and link to my facebook studio page! That paining is titled Weeping Nomad Sky and it was one of my favorites...Sold!!
Keep on blogging, love to read them and can't wait to see the yellow table.

Allen said...

Agree with Riitta, I love your blog and find it very enjoyable.

Katie said...

You are so talented!! Your artwork is amazing! I love all the bright colors in your newest painting! The colors in your kitchen are great and I know a yellow table will look wonderful! Thank you so much for all your sweet words! I can't wait to see how your table turns out!

Lisa Montsion said...

I like how your brain works. Bright yellow is a beautiful color and would great on furniture of any kind.