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  • Luis MacKinney

Exploration: The Key to Creating Art

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

I believe that every day is a good day to start something different. Why? Well, to help explain, let me tell you a little story about how I started creating art.


In May 2014 I took a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I don't remember the exact date, but I do remember it was a sunny day away from home - 2,339 miles away, to be exact. The end of this trip coincided with the closing of the day, which was a sky spread with a very purply/pinkish sunset.


On seeing this sky exploding with color, my mind experienced something I can only describe as "the color explosion." I remember a sensation so intense and impactful that I couldn't get that sunset out of my head for the next few days. I knew I had to try painting what I had seen, so I trekked out to the closest art store and purchased watercolors, brushes and paper. Back home, I started painting the sunset - not sure if I could even do this, but I had to try.


And so, I say that exploration is the key to creating art because this wasn't anything I had planned or knew would happen - it just came about. The literal exploration - the trip - brought about the color explosion, which led to just seeing if I even could copy the sunset. This whole experience has been exploring, experimenting - I just had to be open to it all even starting.


And now I can honestly say that the day I started painting the sunset was the day the artist in me was made.


Outer Banks sunset, May 2014 (Photograph).


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