My Spring Painting Inspiration Is

Color! Color! Color!

After weeks and weeks of dull, lifeless views out my window, I am ready for a spectrum-spanning bout of painting full of rich and deep colors as well as views with soft and pearlescent light that gleams. I didn’t realize how much energy and happiness I derive from having all the colors of the color wheel around me…until they were hardly anywhere to be found.

With the weather (hopefully!) about to warm up, I’m jumping into color with both feet, looking at the works of these artists to get me ready to whip out color schemes that have been months in the making.

A landscape painting by Daniel Garber full of rich color.
A landscape painting by Daniel Garber full of rich color.

I could drown in the works of Daniel Garber. There is so much subtle nuance to each color he mixed as well as how he put them side by side on his surface. A tree trunk can be golden and glowing like amber. Bark becomes an occasion for peacock blue and a variety of mossy greens. He paints nature’s jewelry box!

One of Childe Hassam's vibrant, colorful interiors.
One of Childe Hassam’s vibrant, colorful interiors.

Childe Hassam’s color appeals to me because it is deftly controlled chaos. If I were to describe the works to you in words alone, you might get a puzzled look on your face. Can all those colors possibly come together? But when you look at it, it’s a resounding ‘yes!’

A quietly colored still life by Vuillard.
A quietly colored still life by Vuillard.

Vuillard could play many different tunes with color: sometimes riotous, but also quite demure and subtle. This still life draws me in because the colors are rich, complex but not vibrant. The palette reminds me of the gleams of the inner surface of a seashell. There is a quietness to them that is appealing to the eye and restful too.

What is your spring painting inspiration? What have you been waiting all winter to explore through your art? Share your inspiration by leaving a comment below. And to leverage your spring muse with techniques and inspirations from one of the most popular painting instructors teaching today, get your Painting the Landscape with Johannes Vloothuis Bundle now! Every resource in this collection will give you a way to carry your art-making forward so that you can make this spring season the best painting season yet!

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

23 thoughts on “My Spring Painting Inspiration Is

  1. Spring cleaning has turned up a box of chalk pastel sticks I’ve had since 1979, unused because I felt unworthy. The price tag on the box says five dollars. (How silly I’ve been!) I’m going to use them — some of each every one of the 48 colors in the first project. I’m not skilled enough to think I can create a work of beauty, but it will be colorful and I will have fun doing it.

  2. Recently I was at a meeting in Tucson and took the time to hike in Sabino Canyon.. The strong shapes and rich colors have got me all involved in metamorphic rocks and clear water. Natural subjects for watercolors. Thank you Daniel Smith for your quinacridone and primatek paints. John A. Scott

  3. A visit to our magnificent local garden, which is always a vibrant source of joy and inspiration. I’m already eager to get out the paints and explore new mixtures!

  4. The mornings! Here in Northern California springtime brings cool mornings and dew sparkling on everything…add the sunshine rising and the oak trees surrounding where I live look like a magical forest that a camera cannot capture.

    Inside the magical forest, the bulbs that were hibernating are now blooming in the deepest, most beautiful colors. The daffodils, irises and tulips pop out from the greens of the moss that wraps around the oaks who are showing off their new leaves shimmering with dew in the morning sun.

    It’s beautiful, magical and inspiring. After spending some time outside with my coffee, I am ready to create…anything…just create!

  5. Feeling the warmth of bright sunshine, hearing birds sing and seeing the vibrant greens of new pasture grasses contrasting with the bright yellows of the jonquils and dandelions makes me want to paint, paint, and paint some more!

  6. Longer days and warmer temperatures ar enough to inspire me. The weather is nice for setting up my easel on my patio and painting outside in the warm sunlight, and the natural light is streaming into my studio a little longer each day. Winter was long and dreary, and the warmth and light of Spring is giving me the extra energy to jumpstart new work.

  7. Longer days and warmer temperatures ar enough to inspire me. The weather is nice for setting up my easel on my patio and painting outside in the warm sunlight, and the natural light is streaming into my studio a little longer each day. Winter was long and dreary, and the warmth and light of Spring is giving me the extra energy to jumpstart new work.

  8. Longer days and warmer temperatures ar enough to inspire me. The weather is nice for setting up my easel on my patio and painting outside in the warm sunlight, and the natural light is streaming into my studio a little longer each day. Winter was long and dreary, and the warmth and light of Spring is giving me the extra energy to jumpstart new work.

  9. Longer days and warmer temperatures ar enough to inspire me. The weather is nice for setting up my easel on my patio and painting outside in the warm sunlight, and the natural light is streaming into my studio a little longer each day. Winter was long and dreary, and the warmth and light of Spring is giving me the extra energy to jumpstart new work.

  10. I love the spring flowers that burst forth. That makes me want to get out the paints and start splashing color on a canvas. My studio is relatively new and unfinished but still in great need of a spring cleaning. The good thing is that anything that has outgrown its use in my studio can be used in my classroom so I get to pay it forward. I would encourage anyone who is doing such spring cleaning that if they have unwanted or nearly used up supplies to locate a school art program to donate to. We never have enough supplies and have very low budgets to work from

  11. To see the rose bushes which were just bare sticks with thorns suddenly burst forth with verdant new leaves and buds holding the full potential of beautiful blooms just reaffirms the whole cycle of life of which we all are a part and uplifts and inspires. And we, like the rose bush may have been dormant, but with each new painting we can feel that life force surging through us with the desire to express what cannot be said in mere words!

  12. My inspiaration comes from the change in the weather. It will encourage me to change my creative process and remind me to challenge myself to try new things.

  13. I live in the desert and color and the beauty of the cacti in bloom just amaze me. The black spine Santa Rita is one of my favorites, the pads range in hues of grayed greens to purples and magentas and then the flowers pop with a brilliant red center surrounded by dazzling yellow petals. Just stunning and in bloom right now!

  14. I live in the desert and color and the beauty of the cacti in bloom just amaze me. The black spine Santa Rita is one of my favorites, the pads range in hues of grayed greens to purples and magentas and then the flowers pop with a brilliant red center surrounded by dazzling yellow petals. Just stunning and in bloom right now!

  15. My Spring inspiration is to get out more with my sketchbook . I want to see things with an open heart and mind. Maybe I have overlooked the little things that are full of interest with texture and colour I have only glanced at. Maybe I have missed the delicate transparency of a flower petal because ‘floral art is not my thing’!! So many things to explore and discover. Tomorrow, it’s my bicycle, my sketchbook, a few colours and me. Just writing this has inspired me.

  16. My Spring inspiration is my garden. First, it taunts me with a few pokes of bulb leaves reassuring me that warmer days are coming. Then I am enticed to go outside where the sun and wind clears my mind. I become further awakened by doing the physical activity required to clean-up the garden and prepare it for the season. Choosing the season’s plants and flowers is like painting in 3-D as I combine colors and textures into a riot of living art. I photograph the garden as I walk around and pick out nature’s masterpieces. In the winter I am left with only the memories and the photographs as I paint, waiting patiently for the coming season to start again.

  17. Springtime in the Texas Hill Country means Bluebonnets! I always have my plein air watercolor group out to my house to paint the bluebonnets in my front yard.

  18. After finally getting a good drenching rain, the iris and roses are now flush with blooms. Having just seen the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, I am inspired to paint single flowers, leaves, and enlarged close-ups of what is in my garden using watercolors or pastel. A Meyer lemon dangling from a branch is a living still-life waiting to be captured and interpreted. With spring, I can indulge my color lust!

  19. Longer light! Lingering songbirds. Pops of spring greens against the tans and browns in the forest and against the blue and milky sky. I’m inspired to pull out the many pastel chalks and crayons and experiment with the brightest of bright colors again.

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