Breaking into the world of Art

I will be the first to admit, I am not a neat freak. I live on the cusp of chaos and cleanliness. While working on a new art project a room, that was once spotless, will end up looking like a Tasmanian devil had gotten loose in it.

Last week I went ahead and bought six plastic bins and filled them all with my art supplies. After four years of art exploration I had a lot of stuff. I was surprised to find that I had oil paint, water soluble oil paint, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, brushes of all types and sizes, canvas stretching supplies, crayons, pastels, colored pencils, pens, pencils, and much more.  Some of this stuff I hadn’t used in the last year, and it was hanging around in my studio space just waiting to be used. Now all of my supplies are put away and easily accessible and it’s like I have a whole new outlook on my space and the work I can create in it.

The first thing that popped into my head once I was faced with a clean studio was to create a new painting. Then I felt that I had to take a step back. It’s always fun to start something new, but also easy to forget the current project in the process. I’ve been at this point before – the point where ideas are coming out left and right and it feels like you’re not quite on the ground. The sea of ideas are floating around you and the only thing that anchors you down is the current road you’ve been taking. Is this the safe road? Should you let your ideas take root even though there are quite a few of them and they’re not all on the same wavelength? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself.

If you let yourself go, are you going to going to get what you want out of the experience? Do you want to sell your work or do you want to experiment and see what happens?

I’m more on the side of exploration. I feel that my work is inspired by me, it is a way for me to express what I’m feeling – my very soul. The more I let my ideas guide me, the more intriguing my work gets. Now that doesn’t mean that at some point I shouldn’t have an idea or a group of work – maybe I just need to trust that everything will work itself out. Less quantity, more quality.

It’s a funny thing, a clean space. It kinda reminds me of what happens when you have a white canvas or piece of paper. There are so many possibilities that open up when you’re approached with a blank space. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and other times it’s invigorating. At this moment I’m going with the latter one.

What are some of your thoughts on this topic? Are you in a place where you feel lost in the sea of ideas or are you sticking to the paved out road ahead? What struggles do you face as an artist with experimentation vs. production?

Something to think about :),

Signing off,




Post a comment
  1. Jessica #
    April 4, 2012

    Make a list of all the incredible ideas that you have and tuck it away for the day when you need them.

    • April 4, 2012

      Thanks Jessica, keeping a visual or written journal of your ideas is a great idea :). Taking the time to set aside to do this is important, I will have to do this. It’s so funny how ideas will pop into your mind and if you don’t catch them at the right moment, they can be gone in a flash!

  2. Jean Kelley #
    April 8, 2012

    Well, when I have more ideas than I can keep tack of I just start sketching. The sketches are very rough, not much to look at but they help me remember what I was thinking. This also keeps me from throwing all my ideas into one painting and having it be a cluttered mess.
    As for having a body of work you may look back a year from now and realize that you do have one. I have found that some of the same themes and ideas reoccur in my work over a the last 3-5 years.

    • April 9, 2012

      Thanks Jean! It’s amazing how ideas seem to come back to you over time. Maybe they’re just that good :). It’s definately a good idea to organize your thoughts, I didn’t realize that instead of spending days mulling around in your thoughts – it’s more productive to sit and draw things out. Guess I’ve got a lot to learn, good advice!

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