October is Back-to-Painting Month!

Brushes ready to begin again

Brushes ready to begin again

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

How do I refresh and begin my new season of painting? Some of us are “planners” and others of us are “fly by the seat of your pants” people. I’ll admit I am a good fence-walker between these 2 ways of living the artistic life.

But, now I have made a commitment to get some new paintings to an exhibit at my favorite gallery, Osmosis, and so I will just begin. We’ll see how the organization part goes, but I need to find ways in the coming months to veer toward the side of staying on a schedule, plain and simple. So I’m launching my own personal back-to-painting focus. (After many 2013 projects, like teaching design for quilters on a cruise, making art quilts, painting for causes like the DYAO Painted Violin project, and the “Why Not Niwot”, town art event.)

When the seasons change, I want to take advantage and change too! Do you? In Colorado, October is always our wake up call, summer is over, snow is happening someplace in the state, so get ready. “Cowboy Up” is an expression I heard the other day, (although I’m calling it “Cowgirl UP!”) Let’s get going!


“Cowgirl in Training”, http://www.hamiltonmuseum.org

I look to history when feeding the fuel fires for inspiration, and it’s not just art history, for me. This photo of an up-and-coming cowgirl is from the Hamilton Ranch Museum site in Southern California. I’d love to go there. California is a history-rich state we have visited often. I love it.

My point to myself is: get inspired in any way I can. For me, my brain cells get happy when I do these things:

1. Look at books with art, photos or even maps. Many many visual things.

2. History (my personal love) means looking into what inspired people in the past, no matter their walk in life.

3. Making photographs not only gives me a visual archive of ideas, it keeps me working with composition and other design principles that every painter needs.

4. Taking time with nature for anything like a simple walk, even a road trip, (oh JOY!) to discover anything new. Maybe capture a photo or more for inspiration.

5. Finding inspiration in movies, stories and poetry. There are many paths to the capturing of new ideas.

6. Visit galleries, art museums and quilt shops. The visual inspiration is every where in these rich places.

7. Finding and rediscovering the images and color sketches I’ve saved over time that still provokes a spark in me.

8. Getting  in at least 20 minutes of stretching exercise or just an invigorating walk or in the morning. If I can fit in a 40 minute walk, I always come home with new ideas, but it’s not always possible. Something must be getting that brain energy going though, even with 20 minutes of exercise. I’ve been doing this for years, and it works for me!

"New Blue Leaves", rough color sketch for painting, KGT, 2013

“New Blue Leaves”, rough color sketch for painting, KGT, 2013

I’ve already begun playing with new color sketches like this one. Kind of feeling like I’m chomping at the bit and also feeling the aprehension one feels when one has not practiced their craft for a few weeks. No wonder I have been cranky! There is a remedy for that kind of crankiness. It’s called, “just begin at the beginning, and then go on…”

What is your fall inspiration for change in life? Everyone has their own ideas, no matter your craft or life work. Please share!

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6 Responses to “October is Back-to-Painting Month!”

  1. Helen DeRamus Says:

    A great list, like it!


  2. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    My list is a wee bit different. I am not much of a history buff. Most of it makes me yawn… if I have to be truthful! haha!
    But like you, I love to get going on a walk in nature, love looking through magazines and books, love playing some Mozart now and then while I work, LOVE looking at anything colorful. Fabric stores are amazing, love sketching and adding saved mages to my sketchbooks. Love shopping in boutiques, even if I buy nothing, and LOVE coffee shops with my computer in tow.

    love love fall! I too want to get a painting going.


    • karen Says:

      Nature, Mozart, and magazine photos are great inspiration! I’m not a big shopper, so when I do go out to look in shops it is usually a treat. We have some wonderful boutique shops in Boulder, unique items full of creative juices. Fall is beautiful so far!


  3. Sarah Schultz Says:

    Fall colors outside are inspirational to me. I love the idea of getting ideas from magazines. I am like a little kid when it comes to collecting rocks or leaves,etc. The tactile sensation is important.
    Your violin is beautiful. The change of season helps, especially this year with the rain we are having in Maryland and the drop in temperature. Feels like painting weather!


    • karen Says:

      Sarah, yes, the tactile inspirations from nature are greatly important! Good painting weather, true. I have to bump up the studio light on cloudy days!
      Thanks about the violin. Tomorrow is the “reveal day” for the youth symphony and reception in downtown Denver. I’m going with my daughter Anne and her husband Spencer.
      Even went to the hairdresser today. I never do that! haha…


  4. safelake Says:

    Reblogged this on Lavender Turquois.


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