The Value of Spontaneity for a Painter

Paris Color 3, 5 x 7", acrylic by Karen Gillis Taylor

Paris Color 3, 5 x 7″, acrylic by Karen Gillis Taylor. $60.00 in the Shimmertown Etsy shop.

Creating quick paintings without an under-drawing is making painting so much more fun and interesting for me. I do like having my color palette chosen from the start. Once the paints are mixed, I’m free to just “have at it.”

Painting with spontaneity is similar to drawing freely in the sketchbook. There seems to be less time between formulating the idea of the next step and getting that down on the painting surface.

Paris 3 detail

Paris 3 detail

Working with this smaller size forces me to avoid becoming fussy. Shapes are blocked in quickly. Acrylics dry so speedily that over-painting is done often and without fear. Change is always an option, but if I just keep adding my new colors, the city is built, the shapes make more and more sense.

Paris 3 detail 2

Paris 3 detail 2

I’m drawn to the imperfections within spontaneous art, and feel as though it’s teaching me something every day. There is charm in primitive things which are “unpolished.” Boldness is required, and the effects can be bold in themselves. There are lessons to be learned here, she said to herself.



“There is something to be said about this immediate, spontaneous way of working, and that is this: in such moments, one is playing at the game of creation.” -Henry Miller

“I want to own a motif so that it flows from my hands effortlessly. That way, it’s still spontaneous; I just know where I’m going.” -Peter Fiore

Paris Color 4, 5 x 7", Karen Gillis Taylor, acrylic on textured acrylic paper

Paris Color 4, 5 x 7″, Karen Gillis Taylor, acrylic on textured acrylic paper



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6 Responses to “The Value of Spontaneity for a Painter”

  1. simply painting Says:

    I love that you said..”there is charm in primitive things which are unpolished”…I so agree. What I see that is loose and free in other artists is what I am striving for in my paintings. There is an art to the unpolished, an art to letting go and letting it be and knowing it’s OK. I’m so tired of being nit-picky and never getting it! I love what you are doing!


    • karen Says:

      Yes, “letting go” is definitely a part of the process. I am finding it easier to do that with these small paintings. Let’s see if I can remember to do that with the next large painting. Painting abstract shapes is also helping me to be less intimidated. All paintings are made up of shapes, in a sense. Finding a motif a person is comfortable with, and then repeating it is a very “freeing” experience. Do you have a motif you find yourself using again and again in your work? Could be anything, even a leaf shape, a bird, a spiral within a square, etc. Simplicity!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherry Galey Says:

    Love these to bits. The colours are fantastic.


  3. nsturgill Says:

    I love your color combos…


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