Where do you find inspiration?
Do you find it in a beautiful place? A landscape that takes your breath away? A sunset that catches you, and holds you to the spot, as you watch its colors intensify and glow and then fade into the colors of dusk?
It seems pretty common, here in Calistoga, that when you ask someone how they're doing, their response is to smile, shrug their shoulders, and say, "It's another day in Paradise...."
Last year, our Chamber of Commerce filmed a video commercial for visitors to our town, and I was asked to be a part of it. They wanted to film me painting a beautiful view. How do you choose one beautiful and inspirational view to paint, when you are surrounded by so many possibilities?
So I chose the spot that eventually was the source of the painting above, Oak Tree, Vines, and Mt. St. Helena, thinking it was both beautiful and convenient – on the highway just north of one of the filming locations, at a time when the light would be good and the crew would just be finishing at the previous location.
But Carolyn at the Chamber had a much better idea, which was how we all wound up at Jericho Canyon Vineyard just as the last rays of sunset touched the highest hillside vineyards. Filmakers call it "the Golden Hour." And that's how the couple above happened to be walking between the vines, holding hands, cast in a golden glow, not far from where I was standing with my easel and the painting I'd been working on.
Photos of me painting on location at Jericho Canyon Vineyard, near Calistoga, during the filming
Although my scenes didn't make the video – in this digital age, can you still say they wound up on the cutting room floor? – the Chamber is now using photos of me painting, from that day, in a couple of ads on the web.
It was a beautiful day, in an incredibly gorgeous place, in light that touched the peaks of the mountains with a golden glow. It is really an inspirational place!
So... what inspires you?
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am an artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes and lessons, and live in Calistoga, California. I also teach private, group, and corporate art workshops in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and other parts of Northern California.