How do you decide what to paint?

Off to Sail!I paint what I love!  And I paint paintings that I know I would want to have in my home.  

That’s where the magic happens, I think.

So how do I decide what to paint?

I think figuring out what to paint is for me a mostly right brain activity.

And who can explain how the right brain works, right?

It’s intuitive, circuitous, and sometimes seemingly random–not logical and sequential like the more steady left side.

I actually applied  the left side of my brain to analyze my mysterious, but oh so exciting right side, which I allow to decide what I paint:  This is what I come up with:

There are at least 2 main creative processes I use to identify subjects to paint.

1.    I take field trips with my camera and snap pictures of interesting angles of people, places, and things that are beautiful, remarkable, touching or fun to me.  When I get home I sift through my cache and pic the winners mainly because of a particularly striking composition of content, shapes, shadows and form.  From this image I build my painting.

2.   I  imagine in my mind’s eye the painting that I want to paint–the subjects, the people, the brush strokes, the colors, the size, the style of painting, the medium I will use, etc. I do this sometimes over days, weeks, months even years.  Then I go collect and arrange the things, people, places and set them up and then take pics of them from different angles and light.

I usally visualize more than one painting at a time.

Right now I am visualizing a new series–thinking of subject matter, style, colors I will use.–In fact, yesterday, Sunday, I actually spent a lot of the day painting in my head.

I would share what I saw and painted, except that I learned a while back that if I reveal my nascent ideas before they have begun to take concrete form, it sometimes unravels the creative process for me.

I like to carefully protect my tender shoots that may not yet be able to stand up to the banter of light conversation without wilting. 😉

Author: Margaret Huntley Harrison

I’m a painter using my gifts to transform the seemingly ordinary into the beautiful and extraordinary. What I love more than anything is tracking down, creating, and spreading the beauty in our amazing world! And I LOVE helping you find and spread your beauty into your home, your family and your world. Art for sale: Margaret Huntley Harrison

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