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Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Generate Painting Ideas

'Joyful'            5x7            pastel              ©Karen Margulis
It is hard to get started. There always seems to be something else that needs to get done. Painting time often takes a back seat. Especially when you haven't even been home for much of the summer! 

When I return home form this trip  I will have a long list of things I need to do but it is important for me to make a little time in my day to paint. I don't need much time. Under 30 minutes is enough. I think of painting time like doing a workout...30 minutes helps keep me fluent and flexible.  All of my daily workouts add up and makes me a better painter.

Making time to paint is easier if you know in advance what you are going to paint.  Having a selection of reference photos or subjects already planned saves much time and energy. 

TIP: Spend some non painting time choosing reference photos and clipping them to the paper you will use. Put these painting ideas in a pile. When it is time to paint only choose from this pile. Feel free to add to the pile only during non-painting time. Generating a stockpile of painting ideas during downtime allows you to be more productive when it is time to paint.

'Happiness'        6x6        pastel          sold

Today's paintings took about 30 minutes. I was able to start painting as soon as I went down into the studio because I had a pile of photos and papers all ready. I was able to get into the zone quickly. I enjoyed the first painting(top) and wanted to do more!  I was inspired by the first painting to zoom in closer to the Hollyhocks and paint another version. 

Often the act of painting will generate ideas for other paintings. My first painting inspired several new ideas that I look forward to exploring.

It was easy to get started when I have so many painting ideas all ready and waiting. It was just a matter of making time and ignoring all distractions!  How do you generate painting ideas? Share in the comments!

My reference photo from Auvers-sur-Oise France

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