Ideally you should start each day inspired to paint your finest work. New subjects come to mind during the night and fire you up to begin your new masterpiece. Unfortunately the reality is many artists quickly lose ideas and inspiration for painting. Life's mundane chores and routines get in the way. But there are ways to keep yourself inspired with new ideas for months at a time.
In this article we look at great ways to keep your creative juices flowing. Plus a visit to the Bathurst Agricultural Show (2018) provides me with many new subject ideas.
Your Environment Matters
If you have a lovely studio to work in congratulations. You are one of the lucky few. If you have a space of some sort to paint in then make the most of it by keeping it uncluttered. Tripping over stuff when you want to step back from your easel is not good.
A few other tips:
Take a Trip
When boredom steps in and your painting falls into a rut of repetition take a trip. This is the big kahuna of inspiration. If you can travel to exotic and fun destinations you will gain much more than credit card bills. The potential for new painting subjects is immense.
You do not have to have a big budget trip to make a difference though. A day trip to nearby destinations can work too. A few suggestions:
Watch the Weather
You do not have to remain a fair weather painter. When rain clouds threaten you can find amazing cloudscapes to paint. Also after the rains as the sum breaks through there is often a variety of colour and shapes in the sky. Make this subject the focus of your painting.
Diarise Annual Events:
Prepare for annual events in your area or nearby destinations. These can include shows, markets, festivals and the like. See the video of my visit to the Bathurst Agricultural Show as an example.
These events have many activities on the go. Be ready with your camera or sketch book. But most importantly: Observe! Develop your artist's eye for colour and composition.
Create a Topic
Maybe you want to plan a series of paintings on a specific topic? This can inspire a sequence of subjects related to this topic. Now the subjects have significane for you and you can add that spark to your painting.
Vary Your Painting Format
Topics for a series may suggest new formats for your work. Perhaps divide a subject into three for a powerful triptych? Also if you usually paint on landscape formats try square or vertical formats.
Usually paint of panels? Try canvas or even primed paper to keep yourself challenged.
Galleries or Museums
If you are lucky to live where there are famous galleries and art museums then I am envious. Visit them and take your time with a particular artist's work. Really observe what the artist did. Take notes. Better yet sketch the work and see if you can get a feel for the composition and drawing. Start your artist's journal.
Back at the studio have a go at mixing some of the colours used by the master artist. Read up about that artist too and try to imagine what that master was thinking. Know that you are following in the footsteps of the great masters. This is something to be grateful for.
Take a Nap
Sometimes action is not the answer. If you are tired and worn out you need a nap. Twenty to Thirty minutes nap time at midday can energise you. Especially for an afternoon session in the studio. Plus this will kindle your thinking ability and imagination. The emphasis is on short. Too long and you are likely to feel draggy.
Firstly commit to starting a painting every weekend. This means four paintings a month. In time you will have a selection of good works for a sale, starting a website or gifts at Christmas time. Whatever you motivation may be use this to inspire you to look for subjects to paint. Keep the end in mind, but focus on the start. Who knows where this beginning will take you?
Learn something new: