Great news! I have updated the free mini-course “Paint the Emotion” and it’s now called “Color the Emotion.” I have added a new project with colored pencils and more talk about how to approach art-making. The mini-course is about 40-minutes long and it’s available for all the subscribers of my weekly emails.
Here I am talking about the free mini-course in a video:
This week, I have a short story for you.I hope it inspires you to cherish your creations.
I saw a fascinating documentary called “My Rembrandt.” It was about collectors and dealers of Rembrandt paintings. Rembrandt’s masterpieces were lovingly touched and carried from one place to another. Carefully but still confidently, they moved through castles and galleries.
While I watched men taking Rembrandt’s painting out of its elegant frame, I thought about a sight I saw as a child. In a supermarket, a woman was picking groceries from the cart to the checkout. She handled every item graciously like a simple can was a newly-found treasure that she claimed to own. This woman from a small distant town was my history teacher. Maybe her profession gave her a different perspective on things.
My teacher’s behavior taught me that the way we look and handle art matters. My creation can be my rembrandt. You can even have a postcard that has rembrandt-quality in it if you treat it with similar respect.
This is one way for me to bring up the spiritual side of life and maintain artistic inspiration.
I also made a little video to accompany this blog post.
What do you think? Do you also have rembrandts in your collection?Have you seen the documentary?
This week, I have a video for you! It’s about painting freely, but not with paints but with colored pencils! In the video, I talk about intuitive coloring and painting and their similarities. I also make a page for one of my art journals. Lots of art inspiration – enjoy!
Color Like a Painter – Watch the Video!
Intuitive coloring with colored pencils – isn’t that fun?!
In my painting, the main character and the focal point is a blooming weed. It appeared on the canvas right away and reminded me of Fernando Pessoa‘s poem that talks about a crop bending with the wind and then straightening once the wind stops. This kind of natural resilience that weeds also have is inspiring. In art, we usually make weeds look more like a flower. But could we loosen up and bring more life by letting the weeds be weeds?
So, I just made the big plant look a bit more defined and let it be the star of the show.
Tip #2 – Try to Ignore Color
Even if I took pictures of the painting in our garden, I have been more inspired by the untamed side of nature lately.
With my beagle Stella, I have been exploring banks and woods that look ugly but are full of layers. For Stella, layers of smells, and for me, layers of shapes and textures. I have tried not to seek the most beautiful spring flower, but develop my eye to notice other than colorful things.
What looks ugly first can be beautifully free.
Subtle changes in color can make the painting look more lively than if you throw in a bunch of strong colors.
Tip #3 – Embrace Destruction
When bringing life into art, it’s not that we have to start with life. We can look at broken and deserted things like fallen or chopped branches. They can then have another life in our art. Imagine branches falling further down and breaking the cover between the outer and inner world. What kind of life could you give them there?
Admire how the grass grows, but also, how it withers!
When we create, we can start with destruction and then use colors to make all the ugliness bloom. This way, we build a bridge between the garden and the wilderness – between the traditional beauty and nature’s aesthetics.
I don’t use references for my half-abstract paintings like this one. But I believe that things that we see and appreciate find their way to our art in one way or another.
So when you want to bring life to your art, look for life as it is in the wilderness, not only as it is in your garden.
When looking at this painting, I want to be like that weed, stand tall where I happened to fall. I want to believe there’s something unchanging in this ever-changing life that keeps us creating. I hope we can be Pessoa’s crop that straightens right away when it gets the chance!