Archive | October, 2015

Getting Loose

1 Oct
studio shot

Changing the palette, working large, abstraction – finding new approaches to my art.

I’ve made notes to myself on developing a looser style.  I remember how free my mother was when she would paint and I want to aim for that “looser” goal.  One of the most important things I’ve learned involves devoting as much time as possible to practice.  When my daughters were little, I would steal away 15 minutes here and there to paint – when they were napping or watching a tv show.  Then once a week my husband would watch the kids while I went off to an hour-long watercolor class at the local high school.  For many years this was all I could do, working this way and I was able to be productive without getting discouraged.

Continuing the quest to grow is my next matter of business, continually learning new attitudes and approaches to my art (and my life).  Here are a few things on my list that help to shake things up for me:

  1. Change the palette – trying a new color or limiting colors. Sometimes it’s a great challenge to try using an unusual color for something – for example, instead of using cerulean blue for the sky, try Burnt Umber or some other color?
  2. Work larger or smaller – if you normally are a careful and painstaking painter, then breakout – go large. Nothing loosens me up as much as painting full sheet abstract watercolors. I have had to switch to larger brushes and mix my paint in muffin tins.
  3. Try abstraction – experimenting with line, form, texture and color are very freeing. You no longer have to paint what you see but rather what you feel.
  4. Paint on tinted paper – you may have to add Chinese white to your palette but this may awaken your unexpected creativity.
  5. Use mixed media – try working with ink, crayons, acrylics or anything that will put some variety into your art.