Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012. A. New Years Challenge

Building up a background behind a petal

Art should not be boring. It should excite not just the viewer of a finished painting but the artist who is moving the brush while the piece is being created.

Over the last few weeks I have come across friends and colleagues who have mentioned the dreaded words to me that they are either bored or are finding it very hard to feel motivated to pick up their brushes.  Many of the artists have been painting the same subjects in exactly the same way for years. Other messages are flooding in from the beginner or amateur  who desperately wants to paint or make a huge breakthrough in their painting results this year.

I always feel sad when I hear of anyone struggling when they paint, whatever their reason may be for feeling so low and despondant. Because working in watercolour is such a freeing sensation. Possibly too much pressure is placed on their shoulders to succeed in whatever their goal is that they are aiming for.

Right now it is the beginning of a new year and there is so much to look forward to. As each season approaches we can enjoy what nature has to offer, adore painting landscapes and architecture in the many fascunating lights to come and capture the animals we love via  dynamic brushstrokes that bring them to life.

But not if a starting point comes from negative thinking or a despondant feeling of depression!

So my New Years challenge is for you to pick any subject, consider the true colours you see and then paint exactly the opposite. Especially in the background. Choose cheerful,vibrant pigments and place them as a backdrop allowing them to merge freely with each other. Next allow them to dry and  see what the results are. Avoid muddy messes and aim for clean, fresh, exciting effects.

I have been painting gorgeous Christmas roses from my garden. From life in reality I see beautiful colour behind these snow white flowers and yet my photograph of them indicates a dark section that could be flat and boring.

I am opting for purples and pinks to shine against Cadmium Yellow for my background.

Christmas Roses from my garden

An unusual colour combination for my floral background.

Thinking differently, having a positive approach to working in watercolour, observing the beauty in all that we see and loving life can have such a huge impact on our work. So if you are having problems painting  or picking up your brushes, consider why that is happening to you. Then throw all the negative thoughts out of your window and paint cheerful paintings full of vibrant colour and life.

Soon you won't be able to put your brushes down and if I have anything to do with it, you will be having a year ahead that is filled with fabulous paintings!



Sílvia, Barcelona. said...

Excellent! Thanks for sharing these thinkings about creativity.
It is just what I need to read at this moment.
Have a good 2012!

Michelle Morris said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I blog myself and I love to encourage, so this one resonates with me.
I was disheartened to read last year that you would not be posting full paintings because of image/idea piracy. I wonder if you could watermark them (as I do mine) and if you have a copyright on your intellectual property? This would protect you, your style and your ideas/concepts from copy.
It is a problem world wide, more so now with the internet, but I have been inspired by your work and have purchased your book and DVD. I love the progessions photos as well as completed images you shared on your blog. It seems such a shame that we have to be so careful. Then again, there will always be imitators.