Sometimes I don’t know what to paint. I either have too many ideas and I can’t choose, or I have none at all. Sometimes I have paintings on the go that I need to work on, but want more time to devote to them than I have to work at the moment. Sometimes I am intimidated by what I have done so far, and fear messing it up, even though I know it is not complete. Sometimes, I have blank canvas anxiety…but this is less often than the other reasons that I have mentioned.
So when I want to create and don’t know where to start, I look for inspiration in my surroundings. Every day little things. But this can also become overwhelming, because I could really paint anything at all. How do I choose? The flowers in my garden, photos of my kids or landscapes from trips we have taken. Simple household still lives like a lemon or an apple, a tea cup or a vase. Or any one of the many inspirational pictures I have saved on Pinterest.
So sometimes, when I’m shopping, I buy myself some flowers. This makes me happy, brightens the house, and gives me inspiration to paint. I can paint the entire bouquet, or each flower individually. It inspires me with varying shapes and colours. This bouquet, especially, I LOVE the colours! And I have not successfully painted a rose or a lily as of yet, so it is a new challenge. Even this simple attempt to focus my inspiration has so much potential and so many directions I can go. But it helps me to focus. And it makes me happy.
I LOVE to paint whimsical portraits, but they take a lot of time and focus and effort, and are slow to get the same gratification as painting flowers. And I am still experimenting with colours, but find portraits a little more limiting to the palette. Abstract florals on the other hand, allow instant colour enjoyment, and a playful child-like experience. They are happy making. And they look good in a loose style. I can let go of perfectionism with florals, and just splash some paint around for a while. Layering and playing with light.
Where do you find your inspiration? How do you decide what to paint? Do you buy yourself muses? Or use what is around you? Or do you have images in your head and stories that pour onto the canvas or page? Tell me about your process.