Uncovering patterns in your creative work
Many of my mornings over the past few months have been spent in the studio, painting. I’ve been going back to the basics – making work for myself – because I feel more alive, balanced, and grounded when I am creating images. I am keeping things simple: a few brushes, smaller loose-leaf pages, my favourite tubes of colour… and painting what interests me, for me. This has helped me to remember why I began painting in the first place and reconnect with the process of making.
It is always enlightening to look back through the pile of paintings after a few weeks and see the colour palettes or subjects I have been gravitating towards. Sometimes, I notice that I’ve been working very loosely or with splashy watercolour effects. Other times, I find more moody and fully-rendered scenes.
It can be surprising and exciting to look back through your work. Sometimes allowing a little space between yourself and the piece allows you to see it in new light – at the time all you could see was an area you struggled with or couldn’t quite get right – but, with time, it often is better than you thought at the time.
Many of my most recent paintings are of places I’ve walked: memories of buildings or spots often passed, rainy nights, and walks to and from the studio. These pieces are a way for me to capture personal memories and experiences, they are almost a form of journaling. Although they are not perfect depictions, they capture the essence of the places and experiences for me and are more akin to poetry or journal snippets than to documentation.
It is wonderfully encouraging to see the paintings pile up each day and week. It serves as a good reminder that small steps, taken regularly, over time, add up to a lot.
These paintings were created over a month or so of daily painting. It’s amazing to me how much your skills and voice can improve, and what a difference creating regularly can be for your sense of well-being. It encourages me to keep up this habit of creating new work consistently. Read more about how to leverage the power of routine to build a steady creative practice.
Several of these paintings were featured in an interview with Elsie Road Magazine about my creative process. We talk about my earliest art-related memory, how I get out of a creative rut, the memories behind my new paintings, and a few of my favourite artists. Give it a read!