When I started thinking about a new blog post, I knew I wanted to stay with my focus on art, inspiration, the creative process, and what helps me become more creative. What came up is what makes me an artist and what I have discovered in my art life and my journey. With all this in mind, here are the 10 things I love about making art. I hope you find inspiration here and explore your art journey and why you create.
I love color. Brights, lights, neutrals, I’ll take them all. I can’t say I have a favorite color because I love all color. Even colors that some might call dull and muted excite me. To me, color is one of the main Elements of Art that we need to understand.
You can’t paint or draw or create much of anything without great shapes. Again, shape is another Element of Art that needs attention. Become a shape maker. Good shapes = good paintings.
The messiness of creating art is so satisfying to me. I remember my childhood, spending time finger painting and squeezing clay between my fingers. The messiness of art is a lot of fun, unless you drop a big jar of black gesso on your studio floor. That’s a whole other story.
I love to play. Playing with ideas and inspiration, getting excited as inspiration takes flight in my mind, then getting it all down on the canvas or paper. I get lost in the planning and painting. I can get an idea from sorting through my supplies like stencils, inks, and Caran D’Ache watercolor crayons. I like to scribble with the crayons, then drop puddles of water and smush that around with a brush. Many of my paintings have started with a scribble. Many of my collages have started with a scrap of paper.
I love the many the sensations that come with creating, if you tune into your practice with mindfulness. Besides an over-all feeling of bliss and peace, there’s something that I call “falling in.” The world drops away and I am in my zone. Another post on this later.
6. Art Therapy
I love that I can paint away the pain. I was in an auto accident back in the mid 90’s and had major neck injuries. I had to take too many anti-inflammatory pills that killed my stomach. I found that when I created art, the pains went away. Less pills, more art. Art saved me and I will always be grateful I dived deep back into my art. When I was in another accident last year, I threw myself into my art with every spare minute I had. I healed much quicker with the aid of art.
I love sharing my discoveries, tips, and tricks with my students and other artists. I love to see my students light up when they try something I’ve shared and it helps them make better art. Their smiles make me smile.
You might think that this one is weird, but I love to watch a painting go wrong. To explain, I have had ideas about a new painting and then it didn’t work out. I used to get upset. But when I realized that what I thought was going wrong was actually a new opportunity, I found that those paintings came out better than what I had originally thought.
9. Fresh Paint
Nothing beats squeezing new fresh paint out of the tube and putting it directly onto canvas, paper, or into a pallet. The light bounces off the paint and it screams for a brush to dig in and push it across the canvas or paper. This is so exhilarating.
I love that epiphany when you know a piece is done. Artists sometimes get so wrapped up in the process, (and I get that), they go right pass the ending.I try and stop when I think I am almost done and really take a look at the art. Am I close to being done? Will I miss that epiphany? I lay the brush down and let out a sigh. I take a minute and let the painting breath. Sometimes, I let it set for days, always catching a glimpse of until I have that feeling: it’s done.
I hope that you will look at what you love about creating and let me know if any of my 10 things lined up with what you love about creating. Leave me a comment and let me know.