my creative resolution

Watercolor, Illustration, Surface Design

Just get started…and the ideas will come.

8 Comments

settingup
I try to paint or draw everyday. The first step for me is to pull everything out of the closet and set it up on the kitchen table. This seems like an obvious step, but my point is I don’t wait for that bolt of inspiration to strike.

Occasionally, I know what I’m going to paint as I head for my supplies. More often, as I pull out my sketchbook and paints, I think, “I have no idea what I’m going to create,” followed by, “oh! I can paint [blank].”

I know if I don’t pull out the paints, nothing will get done. It’s rare that I’m about to put pencil or brush to the page, and I still don’t know what I’m going to do. The process of pulling everything out and setting up, usually allows an idea to form. I think this is only possible, because I stay open to inspiration. When I see something that strikes me, I take a picture – even at the supermarket! These inspirational moments are in the back of my mind. I guess you’d say I’ve done my homework.

Gerber Daisies at the supermarket:
supermarketpic

startofgerbergerbersupermarket

I’ve written several posts that relate to this topic of “What to paint?”

I remember very clearly the moments before I started working on two of my favorite pieces from last year. I sat down to draw and had no ideas. In both cases I stepped outside to the backyard and looked around. In one case I took a photo of the Montauk Daisies and went back inside to paint them. The other time, I collected a couple of leaves and other things and brought them inside and started to paint. You really don’t need much to get you going.

With watercolor, the painting often needs to dry between layers. So I leave everything setup all day, and from time to time, sit down to add details. It works better for me to finish in one day. If too much time goes by, my interest wanes, and the chances of finishing decreases.

My Process:

  • Setup
  • Decision on what to paint*
  • Start
  • Get in the “zone”
  • Add finishing touches throughout the day

*Sometimes my first idea isn’t the painting I continue with that day. It’s more of a warm up. But more often than not, I stick with that first idea.

How do you decide “What to Paint?” I’d love to hear! 🙂

I took this picture while I was out running. Maybe it’s my next painting…
futureflower

 

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Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Web and Print Designer living in New York. I blog about painting, illustration, and designing patterns. Inquires are welcome.

8 thoughts on “Just get started…and the ideas will come.

  1. How cool ! Love those Montauk Daisies. Great color and lovely ink sketch work. Much admired!

  2. Don’t forget the coffee – or is that tea?

  3. Love your gerbera daisies!

    I’m curious if you have a certain container you use to stash your supplies away? Mine are encroaching the kitchen table and a few other rooms, and Hub is about ready to go nuts. Thanks for any wisdom!

  4. You are SO good about painting EVERY day. I wish I was. Have to work on that. You inspire me.

    • I’m actually not! Lol. Some days I’m running around with other things and think it’s too hard to get in that mindset. What amazes me is that it isn’t hard to get into the painting frame of mind – all I have to do is take out the paints. Still there are days I resist and don’t pull them out.

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