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Monday, July 01, 2013

Staying Motivated to Paint

'Valley Floor-Canyon de Chelly'           8x10         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
Purchase painting in my Etsy shop $145
 Maybe I am just obsessed.  I prefer to think of myself as motivated. But it is true. I am compelled to paint everyday.  Take today for example. If you saw my post from yesterday then you know my studio has been turned upside down as I am rearranging my space.  I worked hard all day yesterday moving and cleaning things and there was no time (or place) to paint.

I am not quite finished but I was itching to get to the easel and paint something.....anything!  I knew that if I got involved in the studio organizing the day would pass without a chance to paint. So I painted first!  I decided to work on a piece of rust colored matboard that I had prepared with a coat of clear gesso.

prepared mat board with clear gesso and initial drawing

I knew that using this slightly rough surface would allow me to be loose and expressive with my marks.  I wouldn't be able to get tight details so it would be the perfect surface to work on with limited time.
I feel relieved that I got my painting done and now I can go back to the organizing!

I was motivated to paint today but this is a discussion we had on the trip.....how does an artist get or stay motivated to paint when there is so much else going on to provide distractions?

closeup showing the surface texture of the board
I wish I had the answer to this dilemma.  We all know that it takes a lot of paintings under our belts to get where we want to be....but it is all too easy to let life get in the way and keep us from painting. There are many things you can do to make it easier to paint more often.

  • Keep your supplies organized and accessible. Set aside space to paint where you can leave supplies out and ready.
  • Have papers/boards cut and ready. Keep a pile ready.
  • Have a selection of painting ideas/photos ready.
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes or less....depends on how much time you have. Whatever amount of time you can spend is better than none at all.  limited time shouldn't be an excuse. Use it to your advantage.
  • Set a goal and choose a reward for achieving it.... for example treat yourself to a new pastel for every daily painting you do in a month. (hmmmm I really like this idea!)
The above tips can help you make painting more often easier but ultimately it is up to you.....you need to WANT it badly enough to make the time to do it. It had to be an internal motivation and not just because someone tells you it will be good for you!

How do you stay motivated to paint? 


Dee Martella said...

Attending workshops and being with others, was a great motivator for me awhile back. It is no longer feasible since hubby is not well. So, I discovered DVD's as a way to stay motivated.

Anonymous said...

This is a great painting! It is easy to get distracted with reorganizing. I appreciate all the handy little tips you share that encourage us.