Daily Painting: Using more greys

Daily Painting: Using more greys

Dear readers,

 

Today I used more grey than I usually do. It is nice to use the grey crayon too! I use a lot of black and white, but having this mid-tone in the palette gives more subtle possibilities!

This morning I realized again how important this daily practice is for me. It literally colors my day.

 

Bye! Have a creative day!

 

Daily painting: Adding blue

Daily painting: Adding blue

Dear reader,

 

The last few days I worked with two colors only. Today I added a complementary color: Turquoise blue (Caran d’Ache Neocolor 2). It gives a completely new and fun spirit to the painting.

 

Bye!

 

Throw away the art you don’t love!

Throw away the art you don’t love!

Throw away the art you don’t love!

 

I am writing this blog at the first workday after two weeks of Christmas holidays. In these weeks, I have been busy with cleaning up our house, decluttering cupboards and closets, and throwing things away that are old, broken, or that we don’t love anymore. For a few years, I have been inspired by the Japanese declutter-guru Marie Kondo to do this on a regular basis. Her motto is that if your house is cluttered with all kinds of things that you don’t really love, your life gets stuck. You literally don’t have space for new things to enter your life. She encourages you to take a look at every object in your house and ask yourself: ‘Does it spark joy?’ And if it doesn’t: remove it from your life!

In past years, I decluttered my house quite a bit, but I never asked myself the spark-joy question for the big pile of old paintings that I have in my workroom. They are mostly studies on paper, so they don’t take up too much space. Therefore, I could get away with them piling up for a few years. But since I paint every day, and make a lot of studies, my cupboards were getting completely stuck with big heaps of paper. So I decided to go through all my past paintings and ask myself for each and everyone: ‘Does it spark joy?’

To my surprise, I threw away almost all the studies that I had, and only kept a very few that I really loved. Doing so worked out very well. Decluttering my paintings this way gave me lots of new energy and a lot of eagerness to start painting again in the new year to come.

I have thought about why this throwing away was such a positive experience. There are at least five reasons for that.

 

Gratefulness for the fun and the development

First, I loved going through all of my old paintings. It made me realize the development that I made, and the joy that I had making them. At the same time, I realized that I am not going to continue working on these particular paintings anymore and I am not going to show or sell any of them. They were in my cupboards to witness the past. By going through them and being grateful for the painting years behind me, they had fulfilled their function, and by letting go of them I could make space for new things to come.

 

Dedication to the process

Second, throwing them away made me dedicate myself even more to the process of painting ahead of the product. I am a big advocate of process-oriented painting, as I have written about a lot in my articles about developing an art practice. By throwing away old paintings, I emphasized the importance of working in this process-oriented way, day by day, being in the present moment, not caring about the future to come, and not clinging on to what I left behind.

 

Attention for the loved ones

Third, by keeping only the things that I love, I have given them more space to shine. Because they were covered by dozens and dozens of other paintings, they could not get the attention that they deserved. Now they are uncovered, I can really enjoy them.

 

Trust in the flow of creativity

Fourth, I realized that I kept my old paintings as a kind of proof that I really am a painter. Now that I have removed the traces of the past, and stand with bare hands before the new painting year, I have to trust the flow of creativity that is going through me, instead of leaning on old work to reassure me. And that feels good since I believe this natural flow of creativity is the real basis of making art.

 

The blog as archive

Fifth, the fact that I keep my daily painting blog makes it easy to throw things away. If I would ever like to go back and take a look at my old work, I have my daily painting blog as an online archive. I probably won’t do that often, because I hopefully will rather be painting new work than scrolling through old work. But the possibility is always there.

 

 

How do you deal with old work? Let me know in the comments below, or join the conversation in the ArtNow Community!

 

PIN THIS BLOGPOST!

OR DOWNLOAD IT AS PDF FROM THE LIBRARY!

The fun of veiling

The fun of veiling

 

Dear reader,

 

Today another study on A3 paper, with only two colors.

 

I realized today the power of veiling again – which is covering up parts of the painting, but in a way that the underlayer shines through. I did the veiling with titanium white. What I like about veiling is that it creates depth. Because there are more layers –behind the first one– that are only partly visible you experience that there is something else in the background. The picture becomes less ‘flat’.

Veiling also creates a sense of mystery in a painting.You can’t see everything, so your imagination has space to wonder.

At last, I made some of the parts opaque again. That creates a sense of rest in the painting. It is not ‘busy’ everywhere.

 

Bye!

Simone

Orange and Magenta

Orange and Magenta

Dear reader,

 

Today I have been happily experimenting along, again with only two colors, but now not complementary. Like it! I worked on A3 size copy paper, that’s twice the usual size. Perfect for studies.

Bye!

Simone

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest