Reference Photo Simplification I create my watercolor paintings in a studio from reference photos taken by myself or supplied by other people.  My method for creating the “Creative Workbenches” was to take random photos in a workspace and look through them later to find a section or grouping that would capture the personality of the creative person.  The nice part of being an artist is that I can take out parts and put in pieces in different places if it works better for a finished painting.  That is good thing, because I am not skilled at photography, and I don’t have the patience to set up a scene with the best lighting and maneuvering things around to get the perfect shot.  When I started taking photos for my artwork, I increased my appreciation of artists 10-fold. Can You Find the Painting in This Photo Here is an example of a reference photo provided by my brother.  I am not sure if he was cleaning up or just showing off, but this was a table covered by a collection of all the screwdrivers, drill bits and drivers he had found in his shop.  I suppose this would not jump out at

A couple of months ago my son jokingly sent me a message with a photo of his work space.  It was just full of stuff,  some in-process work, tools, along with some adult beverages.  I laughed when I saw the photo, knowing that my son is extremely inventive, but tends to have too many projects at varying stages of completion.  When I saw the photo, I thought the workbench was a visual interpretation of the many synapses firing in his brain.  Too many to control requiring the need of some fluid refreshments to slow down the impulses.  It was a crazy photo, but after a while I thought wow, wouldn’t that make a great painting. This started me down the path of a new series I am calling Creative Workbenches.  It will be an intimate look at a variety of work spaces from a diverse group of creative sources.  I have enlisted the help of a jeweler who fixes watches and clock and a fly fisherman who ties his own flies.  I hope to recruit additional artisans over time.   One thing I am learning about creative work spaces is how intimate this project is becoming.  How a person lays out