How mark-making gets you into the flow of painting

How mark-making gets you into the flow of painting

How to get into the flow of painting

 

When I start painting, I usually start with scribbling, making marks, adding some paint. I am just doing something. I am ‘activating the canvas’ as some artists call it.

I like that expression. Before, the canvas (or the paper) is silent, inert. Once I put some marks on it, it starts talking back to me. It starts moving and having its own opinions about where it wants to go. There evolves a wordless back and forth between me and the painting. It’s like an intimate dance, as I have described it in my blog post about non-duality and painting.

My first and almost random marks are a starting point; from there the painting will evolve, more or less out of itself. And even those first marks are not ‘random’ of course. They depend on my mood, or on the mark making tools close by on my table. If you get really philosophical, there could not have been another mark than that particular one. The whole universe led up to that one mark, you might even say.

 

An insight

Lately, I was making a collage. I had made marks and covered some parts with a layer of glazing. The next thing I did was add a scrap of collage paper that almost covered all of the underlayer. My first thoughts were: Why did I even make all those ‘activating’ marks in the first place? They are useless now; nobody will ever see them. I might have activated the paper, but now there is nothing left of it. I could have glued the collage paper on the white substrate with the same result!

But then an insight struck me. Those first marks not only activated the canvas. They also activated me!

By activating the canvas, something inside me starts to move. My inner artist awakes. Inspiration strikes. The dancer enters the dance floor. My subconscious starts to flow, and from there, my hands start moving.

In this case, my hands took a scrap of paper that had the size of almost the whole underlayer. But if I would not have made those first marks, my inner artist might not have awakened. I might have thought: Oh, let’s drop this collage. I have no inspiration at all today. I’ll paint tomorrow.

These first marks did not only get the collage started, but they also got me started, and helped me to get into the flow of painting.

My conclusion is: if you don’t know how to get into the flow of painting, just start somewhere. From there, your inner artist will wake up and lead you.

 

Bye!

 

Let me know your experiences with activating the canvas and activating yourself below in the comments.

 

Simone Nijboer, Dutch abstract artist, online art teacher, daily painter, creativity accelerator

Daily Painting: Trusting the Process

Daily Painting: Trusting the Process

Dear reader,

 

Today I wrestled a bit with this one. Halfway I did not like what I saw at all. But more and more I don’t ‘complain’ about it, keep going and trust that something will come up to get this particular collage finished. And let it unfold all by itself. I hope I will be able to keep this attitude since it makes painting so much more fun. And effortless.

Simone Nijboer, Dutch abstract artist, online art teacher, daily painter, creativity accelerator

Daily Painting: Working with Shapes

Daily Painting: Working with Shapes

Dear reader,

 

Today I played with shapes. You can hardly see it anymore: I cut a hole out of a piece of paper, spraypainted in it and added blue paint. Finally, I glued white scraps of painted paper on it. The whole video will most probably end up in my online course.

 

Bye!

 

Simone

Daily Painting: Toilet Paper

Daily Painting: Toilet Paper

Dear reader,

 

Today I made another collage on postcard size. I started with using a piece of toilet paper with stains of paint on it, that was lying on my desk and inspiring me to take a whole different start.

Bye!

Simone Nijboer, Dutch abstract artist, online art teacher, daily painter, creativity accelerator

Daily Painting: Old News

Daily Painting: Old News

Dear reader,

 

Today only neutral colors, and some old newspaper in my collage. The outcome is a bit messy, but I liked the process of just glueing stuff on my piece of cardboard, seeing and feeling the final collage unfold under my hands.

 

Bye!

Simone Nijboer, Dutch abstract artist, online art teacher, daily painter, creativity accelerator

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