Inspiration Story: The Lily Lakes Collection

Inspiration Story: The Lily Lakes Collection


Original Oil Pastel Painting Fine Art Artist Jordan McDowell

Believe it or not, I develop clarity on what inspires a collection not on the onset, but only once it’s been completed for some time. Why I choose to paint what I paint doesn’t reveal itself to me until I’ve stepped away from them for a while. And sure enough, that’s what happened with the Lily Lakes Collection. 

I knew before I released the Stormy Fields Collection that I wanted to release a collection of smaller pieces for my art collectors that were more affordable, came framed and ready to hang, and reflected another component of what 2020 meant to me and to all of us (I think). I didn’t know what subject matter I was going to work on and I had no idea I would delve into a brand new medium for me. But that just goes to show that 2020 was a year a curve balls, in the truest sense of the phrase. And as the curve balls were rocket launched at us day after day, adaptability proved to be a well of strength in moving forward. 

Post Stormy Fields release, I was exhausted. Creatively and physically exhausted. I had launched two successful collection releases and I was so proud of myself. But I felt my well of stillness, my well of creative power, to be fully drained and I needed to replenish it. And it’s these moments, of absolute exhaustion, that always stir something in me and a new path opens itself up to me that I hadn’t seen before. 

I woke up one morning in November with an overwhelming desire to play with oil pastels. I had never played with oil pastels before. And how I able to quickly begin to flow with them, I’ll never know but hell, that’s part of what it feels like to be an artist I guess. 

So, before even brushing my teeth, I went to the local art store and bought some (this was a terribly poor decision on my part – forgetting that I’d be wearing a mask but I digress). That did not deter my enthusiasm.

The Lily Lakes Collection poured out of me in a matter of days.

What I find most interesting about how my process worked for this collection is not that I decided to work in a medium I had never touched before, but that I landed on still lakes scenes. And even more peculiar that I worked in cool hues rather than in my traditional warm hues. 

I didn’t feel still at that time. Honestly, I don’t feel very still writing this now. But when I do look back onto the paintings, and really see those pieces, they each in their own special way, bring me a stillness. 

The Lily Lakes Collection was inspired by the urge to bring about a sense of calm. A peacefulness. To provide you a safe place to go to, to breath in the fresh air of the places they show. 

All of my collections this year have reflected a deep mood that 2020 stirred up. The Blomster resulted from a deep need for happiness in the day-to-day. The Stormy Fields Collection reflected the turbulence that was all of 2020 and the hope that it would ease at some point. And the Lily Lakes Collection reflects that crushing need for calm. For peace. For stability and reflection. 

And it’s really interesting to me that what flew out onto these pieces was that inner place of adaptability. Those steady waters deep within. 

A bit of wanderlust did creep it’s way into this collection though too. Because if 2020 has brought us any understanding, it’s how much we value travel. These still waters are reflected in the landscapes set against the mountains in the west, the coy ponds of Asia, the lily ponds of France, and the marshlands of the South.

The inspiration for the Lily Lakes Collection was the pursuit of a peaceful place in the mind.

These oil pastel paintings have so much rich texture. They have cooling shades of blues and vibrant warm greens and pinks. They bring me a lot of calm and they’ll bring you a lot of calm too.

I hope you find these ready-to-hang original oil pastels peaceful and bring you so

Original Mountain Lake Oil Pastel Painting Artist Jordan McDowell

Leave a comment