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Colour and Variety

 In The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Liz Chamberlain; Lizzie Lou Mixed Media

I am still working to find my way, to stay focused and passionate in my work. To stick to my specific to-do list of paintings that need to be completed. I will admit, I find it hard to focus on the task at hand. I get bored of the same type of painting, or a piece that is taking me a lot of time and concentration. Or I get overwhelmed with performance anxiety, feeling the perfectionism gremlins creep in because a piece is for someone specifically, rather than just for me. So how do I stay passionate about my art? How do I keep it fresh and alive and fun?

I change it up, constantly. My colour palettes, my media of choice, my subject matter. I follow my daily inspiration. I am constantly learning from other artists, incorporating new techniques and tips. I also join fun social media challenges, like #the100dayproject.

love bright, bold colours, and I love to combine complimentary colours. I feel like it gives a piece a great deal of presence and interest. I allow my colour scheme of choice to be dictated by my mood. When I am feeling upbeat and positive and in a go get’em mood, I use bold, bright, fun colours. When I am in a low mood, I tend to love to paint monochromatic paintings, especially using Payne’s grey. I don’t always allow my mood to dictate the colour though. Sometimes, I use colour to lift my mood, like a highlight of fluorescent red on a rose…mmm…it makes my heart smile.

Recently, I was introduced to the art and style of Anders Zorn, who is known for using only 4 colours of paint in most of his art, and sometimes a fifth colour for his landscapes. This fascinates me, so I have decided to explore this concept. I created Zorn’s palette, and then I chose my own 4 colours and created my own Zorn-like palette. I love it. It’s so much fun to mix colours and create your own style and look. Since I am still looking to define my style, this is something I do regularly to keep my interest peaked and stay passionately inspired.

I also tend to really enjoy experimenting with different media and types of art supplies. I started in mixed media, and then began to separate the elements, and am now learning each of them independently. For example, I love heavy-body acrylics, but some effects are just better with fluid acrylics. Technically, the same media…but they react differently and it changes the way I paint. Recently, I decided I want to experiment more with oils. I stocked my supply, and found so much joy in making colour swatches of each new tube. This inspired me to create a few paintings, just the new colour options that I now possess, and the change in texture and feel of the paint. Oils are creamy and soft and amazing for blending. Sometimes when I need a quick colour fix, I pull out my watercolours. I am not yet comfortable in creating with these at all, but I  love the vibrancy of the colour. It excites and inspires me. Colour and variety: the keys to my soul.

I am also still in the learning stage of my art life. So when things get to be hard, I will participate in an online class that I have signed up for and not yet completed, or do a painting that is completely led by another artist. It takes the thinking part out, as well as the pressure to perform well and be perfect. Pure fun and experimentation, while learning new tips and tricks along the way.

Recently, I have decided to join #the100dayproject, which is a free social media challenge. The idea is accountability, while instilling a habit of creating something daily and connecting with other people also participating in the same project through various creative outlets. It’s a pretty wild endeavour. I have attempted other monthly prompt challenges, and find they take up too much time to complete every day to be able still do my own thing as well. However, this project is designed to be simple and inspiring. By creating a small painting a day just for me, I am allowing myself the warm up time that I need before diving into a commission piece or something that is already started, that I am now in fear of messing up. Warming up is key, and I often try to skip it because it can feel like a “waste of time”. I am still learning my routine, and this is a big part of it. Allowing the time to experiment before I need to be serious and focused.

By changing up my colour palettes, my media of choice, my subject matter, constantly learning from other artists, and joining fun social media challenges, I am able to keep the fun and passion of expression in my art. I don’t allow myself to get fit into a box. To remain fresh and passionate, I need to be free.

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