A host of daffodils greeting me in my studio this morning, on my easel
I have had a wonderful time on my recent tour of Canada and USA and I so long to share tales from my travels but my heart is more interested in painting today and getting back into my routine in my studio. I have missed my solitude and private time creating. I adore teaching but always return from my workshops totally inspired to paint, always with renewed energy and with an insatiable thirst to improve my own art. I love discovering new colours and shade combinations. And new ways to tell the same story if I am working on familar subjects.
On my workshops I always aim to give inspirational advise to overcome obstacles artists may be facing. I mentioned on yesterdays blog post the value of moving our burshes even if its' only for a few minutes each day. I also have other tips to keep myself motivated that I am happy to share.
Firstly I always leave something I will enjoy looking at on my easel each night. This means when I walk into my studio each morning I am already on a "happy high" , by being greeted each day by happy memories of a previous brilliant painting session. This is positive encouragement to produce something even better. It makes me eager to at least try!
I also prepare scraps of paper so that I have a bundle of pieces at hand ready for me to experiement on. A lot of my new work develops from these experiments. I can't see the point of repeating painting what I know. I wish to stretch myself with new ideas constantly so that I don't get stuck in a rut with my work.
These scraps are wonderful to work on because there is no pressure to create something frameable on them. But they do lead me to new ideas for future compositions. I can take risks, try new colours, or even deliberately aim to overwork on them to see how far I can go before ruining a painting. You only learn how to stop on a painting soon enough if you practise overworking sometimes. Weird advise but it works!
On paper to use, my best advise is to buy good quality paper. I can paint on both sides of my Saunders Waterford 300lbs paper and never throw any pieces away , no matter how small, until they are covered with colour on both sides.
Like these two pieces.
Small paintings used as warm up exercises before painting larger compositions.
Now to paint!