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The Intrinsic Motivation 
Principle of Creativity*

(the propensity for creativity to flourish when 
motivated by a personal enjoyment of the work itself)

When friends sent me this photo--taken in Tuscany during their sabbatical last year--I was pleased to have the opportunity to paint it. There are few things I enjoy more than painting (drawing, maybe?).


I could obsessively reproduce the image, but I don't think I will. They could order an enlargement and hang it on the wall. Jennie has an artist-mother and a craftsman-father. Bradley is a classically trained architect. They'll expect me to paint my own interpretation. And an interpretation it must be as I am not at the location to experience it myself. I must imagine it and try to capture it as best I can.

Not everything in the photo will stay. The roses in the foreground stumped me for awhile. They are stunning, but so large compared to the other elements in the landscape, I decide not include them. Also, the space that occupies the lower right quadrant gives me pause. It is lovely negative space; however, what makes my heart sing as a graphic designer taxes me sorely as a painter. Ironically, I tend to overwork negative spaces. I decide to focus on the top portion of the image.



Here are a few photos taken to show the painting's progression:



Blocking in areas 
Building light and dark with color

Deepening the shadows and adding details
I can imagine the shadows shifting and the sunlight catching on the new spring leaves. The climbing roses are rocking in the breeze over the the garden gate. I wish I could walk down that hill and get an unbroken view of the mountain. Maybe someday. Well, that just about does it. All that is left is to sign it and seal it. The frame is ordered. It will soon be on its way to Oregon to hang on the wall of a new home.

*The description, Intrinsic Motivation Principle of Creativity, as used by psychologist Teresa Amabile

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