Like most things in life, it is not always easy to start something new, even if it is something you love to do. Painters face this each time they meet a white stretch of canvas with an idea and a feeling and a palette of paint. I thought I would share a few things I do to make this a much smaller problem than it could be.
- Be prepared – I am always collecting photos on my walks, images from magazines and ideas I may sketch out. I keep these in a file so that if I have the yen to paint and need a jump start, I open the file and see what color or image ignites my creativity.
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- Clean your palette – When I paint, I generally have paint left over. I use this to “prime” future paintings even without knowing what they may end up being. This way I have several canvases that are no longer big, white vacancies waiting to be filled but paintings waiting to be carved out of color.
- Set the scene – Music. Loud. I lock the door, pump up the tunes and start painting!
- Play – Sometimes I will work on less “serious” pieces like furniture and crafts until I am ready to start my paintings.
- Stay open – This is really the best thing … always. I know I want my painting to look like what I imagined it should, but I have found if I let go of controlling things, I am often able to come up with something that is more than an image … I get an image with energy!
And finally – remember why you are painting. We so often let the end result get in the way of the joy of the moment we create it.