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Today, I managed to get started on a new pastel painting. (Apart from finishing-off another one that I started last year sometime, this is my first art of 2012!!) The initial outline of my painting, at the end of the first session. Up until today, I had only ever painted from photographs. Photography is a hobby of mine and, as much as possible, I try to use my own photographs as reference material. However, my printer has been out of ink for some time and I have not been able to buy a replacement cartridge. So, today was different! For the first time ever, I started something purely from scratch, using nothing more than my imagination. Having just about run out of excuses, to put off the day when I knew I had to pick up a stick of pastel again; I attached a blank sheet of paper to my board. And then I sat there and just stared at it, refusing to leave my studio until a scene came into my mind and pastel had been applied to paper. At one point, I even considered taking-up abstract art painting! I thought about just putting a few random strokes of colour on the paper and then seeing what developed from that. Later, I almost started to attempt a mighty steam locomotive pulling a train past a station platform - which, for some reason, was going to be full of people completely wrapped-up in their cell phones... Anyway, a pretty tame scene that I knew I could handle purely from imagination, with no reference material at all, came to mind. It's nothing more than a simple view of a garden, as seen through the kitchen window of a country cottage with pink walls inside the kitchen. Not very ambitious, I know - but I just wanted to get started with something and I figured that it needed to be a simple scene... Maybe, once I get back into the swing of things, I can try something a little more ambitious? I have wanted for the longest time to be able to paint from memory and also from imagination. Now, just because my printer is out of ink, I have finally been forced to give it a try. This is not even the slightest hint of a shuffle for anyone else - but it is one massive leap for me!!