Photography & Painting


Photography can be an excellent source of inspiration. This weekend I was in Zeeland, in the South West of the Netherlands, on an island called Schouwen Duiveland. There are many dikes there, and on one of those dikes, I made photos of (industrial) stones with lichen on them and shells between them.

I liked the combination of human-made and nature-made materials.

Today I tried to paint inspired by those photos. I was not too enthusiastic about the results. But it was fun to do it anyway, and I think this is something I could explore further.


  1. Simone Nijboer

    Thanks, Dotty, for your reply.

    When I made the photo’s, I just enjoyed looking at the light. I loved to look at the composition how it unfolded through the lens of the camera.

    I did not shoot photos with the intention to paint afterward. But I really liked the compositional elements (curved lines, natural forms, earthy colors, shade, light). It was not so easy to translate them into the paint. I did not have the patience and did not take the time to paint representational (which must give beautiful effects!).

  2. Dotty Seiter

    Simone, what a surprise to discover this morning that you used photographs as inspiration for painting today! I’d love to know more about your process and thinking. Did you refer to the photos at all AS you were painting, or did you take the photos, look at them, and then paint as a completely separate exercise? I want to know more about what you did, and how it felt to you internally!

    Two years ago I vacationed on the coast of Maine up near Canada and was intrigued by the natural art created by lichen on coastal rock formations. I painted from a photo reference, using the photo very directly to paint representationally, even though the end result is abstract. It remains a favorite painting. You can see it in my June 14 2015 blogpost “Likin’ Lichen.”


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