Are you an artist looking for some painting ideas? It happens to all of us, sooner or later. There you are facing a blank white surface and it’s time to squeeze paint onto palette, load up the paintbrush and make that first mark. But, the moments tick by and unable to commit, the surface remains untouched and haunting.
Have you ever watched children at play? A broom becomes a horse, a stick transforms into the most magnificent magical wand, the trees in the field are seen as massive giants threatening the stalwart defenders and a blanket thrown over the picnic table makes a safe cave for adventurous heroes and heroines. Give these same children some art materials and they are all likely to dive right in.
Their play-filled approach and unhindered curiosity allows them to create with apparent abandon. Life becomes more complicated as we enter adulthood and this easy creativity sometimes gives way to a world filled with should do this and shouldn’t do that. We sometimes find ourselves bound up and unable to take action when we enter the studio. No matter how much one may want to take a playful approach to that threatening white expanse the moments between intending to start and actually starting begin to pile up.
Time to clean the studio
When the artistic painting ideas aren’t flowing it’s definitely time for an artist to step away from the canvas. But don’t leave the studio entirely; stick around and focus on getting some chores done. You would be surprised at how many artists use cleaning up their studio as a way to get themselves going when the muse doesn’t visit right away.
- Sort through and organize tubes and pots of paint
- make a list of what needs replacing the next time you make an art supplies order
- Do the same with brushes, mediums, gesso, etc.
De-cluttering the workspace and swishing things up in general can work to clear up that foggy mind. Also you are still in the studio, actively handling your art materials and logging the time so you won’t be as caught up in those feelings of failure as an artist. Besides, painting is way more fun than cleaning and it usually isn’t long before an idea appears out of nowhere that urges you back to the easel.
A few more tricks to get your artistic painting ideas flowing
If your studio is all tidied up and the artistic painting ideas or inspiration is still yet to strike, here are a few more ideas to consider:
- Get out stretcher bars and pliers and stretch some canvas
- Gesso the newly stretched canvases
- Read art books and magazines
- Visit the library and check-out a new art book
- Go online and peruse other artists websites
- Take your camera for a walk
- Check out a new show at your local art gallery
- Make a collage using materials that are easily at hand – magazine clippings, scraps of material, wall-paper, sections of old paintings and drawings, etc.
- Paint on top of your collage work
- Listen to music and paint what you hear
If the dry spell continues maybe it’s time to experiment with a new medium. Even a seasoned professional artist will sign up for an art class every once in a while to learn new techniques and stimulate new painting ideas. They know that when creativity seems to be stymied it’s likely time to strike out in a new direction. You can get some ideas from this article on how to inspire creativity in your art, 10 tips to get you going.