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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Where does the inspiration come from?

In this blog I am going to cover my own experiences with inspiration and give clues for you to find your own inspiration!

How do I do it?

How do I create so much art? I don't know how many times I have been asked this question. I never seem to have a quick answer. I am going to try and work through that here.

Have a dedicated space

I am lucky that we have a large house. We built it on our farm and so the amount of space was unlimited. We have a modular home that consists of 5 pieces. Yes, 5 sections. The basement mirrors the upstairs.

So I have a painting/art studio in the basement. It is an odd shape and sometimes difficult to arrange things. I am lucky to have it, though, so I won't complain!

This room is somewhat of a sanctuary. I can go there and know that I will not be disturbed. My husband will rarely venture in there. Our 2 cats sometimes will meow at the door. I will find them sitting nearby when I finally venture out.

What is great about a dedicated space is that you can just leave your unfinished works there, ready for you to pick up at any time.

I bought a few picture shelves from IKEA and installed them in my studio. I can put smaller pieces I am working on, halfheartedly, on these shelves and sometimes I just pick one up and finish it off.

The space does not have to be big. Get a standing divider and put it in your bedroom, living room, dining area, or basement. Create a spot of your very own. An easel or small table. A tv tray for your paint and brushes. A carpenters apron or art apron with compartments to put brushes, paints, rag, or a few paper towels. Hang it over your chair or on a hook when you are done. Use a minimal palette of colors.

A good surface to work on, if you do have more space

My dad gave me his old drafting table quite a few years ago. This is absolutely a must, if you have the room. It can be lowerd to be used as a flat table surface. It can be angled up to almost 90 degrees and can work as a large, sturdy easel. It rolls, so I can move it if I so choose. The ledge is adjustable so it can accomodate tall or shorter canvases . You can stand or sit at it.

I suggest you look on marketplace or kijiji or wherever you think you might find one.

If you don't have room for a big studio, don't let this deter you from creating. Just limit your supplies and find a small area that you can dedicate to your art. Then, when you are in the mood, there it is!

Try to keep your supplies organized. Nothing will stunt your motivation more than having to search for paints and brushes just to get started! I purchased a few grids from IKEA and added some hooks and shelves. I also found these pouches at IKEA. I think they were meant for the kitchen.

Don't strive for perfection

I think many artists think they need to create perfection. Art is not perfect. At least, not in my world. Don't become overwhelmed with competing with the other artist, the perfect artist, whose work is so lovely. Understand that every piece of art has its own merit. You don't have to be perfect. Perfection is impossible.

Free your artistic soul

Just pick up a brush and your favorite colors of paint and cover a canvas. Putting paint on a canvas is really not so difficult if you don't have a clue what you want to create. Just let the paint flow. Don't think of it as a work you will sell. It is an exercise in freeing your soul, your artistic soul!

Painter's block, writer's block, creativity voids, are all real things. I have suffered from these as well. It is easy to get stuck between painting what you want to paint, and painting what you think you should paint, to please others.

Get over it!

Paint what you like. Don't get bogged down because someone might not like it, might not buy it, might criticise it. In fact, paint something ugly, something dark, something so uncharacteristic of you that you won't even recognize it. And then laugh about it! Enjoy the fact that you just let go of it all.

I paint almost every day

I did not always paint. I don't draw very well. But it is something that is mine now, and because I like to avoid household chores, I go to my studio and create.

So don't paint everyday, paint every other day. Paint once a week. Join an open studio painting group. If you do, get some inspirational ideas from the other artists.

Paint on different substrates

  • stretched canvas

  • loose canvas

  • glass

  • panel board

  • cradle board

  • watercolor paper

  • rice paper

  • doors

  • cupboards

Try different methods

  • watercolor

  • acrylic

  • collage

  • mixed media

  • palette knife painting

  • use only giant brushes (like for painting walls)

  • use your opposite hand

  • close your eyes

  • mark making

  • alcohol inks

As long as you are creating, the artistic flow is not lost. Flow from one project to another. That's what I will do.

Don't throw any of your creations away!

I recently found some acrylic abstracts I had done on watercolor paper. I did them within the past year, I think, but I barely remember it. I can just imagine that I did not think much of my efforts at the time. But I did not throw them away, just tucked them in a drawer.

Now I look at them with fresh eyes and I kind of like them. I've expanded my reportoire since these were done. I can appreciate what I created now, even if, at the time, I was disgusted with my efforts.

I know other artists have fastened paper directly to a canvas, so I decided to use some 8 x 10 canvases that I had. I don't generally paint on that size of canvas, so this was an opportunity to use them. The watercolor paper was 9 x 11 so I wasn't cutting too much off.

This is what I ended up with:

In conclusion

  • Don't be a perfectionist

  • Create every day if you can

  • Organize your supplies

  • Have a dedicated space

  • Try new things

  • Find someone else to paint with, for inspiration

  • Don't throw any of your creations away (the 7 year rule may apply)

  • Avoid household chores, they take too much time

Now, go pick up your brush and get to work. Ultimately, it is up to you!


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