After last weekend's open studio and Pop-Up Art Sale, I've had a week away from creating work. I've been:
- hanging an exhibit and attending the opening
- visiting a prospective venue for displaying my art
- catching up on bookkeeping and doing tax prep
- writing thank you notes to new clients
- updating my social media channels and website
Yesterday I was back in the studio, starting 2 new canvases in my PortTown series.
Here are a few tips for facing down that fear of the blank canvas and getting going on a new piece:
- Put on a coat of gesso or tinted/textured ground. This gets you moving your brush on the canvas and helps get the energy moving.
- If something has worked for you in the past, use it again. I am mid-series, so I know I'll put in some drips and sweeps of color that will largely but not entirely be buried by the rest of the work. Applying a transparent layer of quinacradone gold or similar is a tried-and-true technique as well. Let bits of it peek through your finished painting for a sense of 'glow'.
- Put on some great music and dance around. I'm serious : )
- Tack up 3 sheets of large paper (24"x30" minimum) and do some gestural drawing with charcoal or paint. These don't have to have anything to do with the piece you are going to produce on the adjacent canvas. They can get you revved up, especially if combined with music as noted above!
- Put up 2-3 canvases so you can work on several with similar feel and color palette at the same time. This way you can keep moving from one to another instead of getting bogged down. It also keeps any one of them from being too precious.
How do you begin a new piece? Do you ever feel intimidated by the blank canvas?