Yup, My Junk Drawer Taught Me Painting

When it comes to certain creative sensibilities–awareness of color, editing a concept–I trust my judgment. I think I have pretty good instincts–maybe not in the execution of said sensibilities in an oil painting I paint myself, but I know good color combos and narratives when I see them in the oil paintings that comes across my desk.

I envision works of art like this (Friends of a Feather by Sadie Valeri, 12 x 16, oil on panel, 2010) starting as interesting or beloved objects--arranged on a shelf or stowed away in a drawer--that catch the artist's eye when they are away from the studio.
I envision works of art like this (Friends of a Feather by Sadie Valeri, 12 x 16,
oil on panel, 2010) starting as interesting or beloved objects–arranged on a shelf or
stowed away in a drawer–that catch the artist’s eye when they are away from the studio.

For me, this ability comes from observing the world around me and seeing what works. Looking at the way objects are arranged on a bookshelf or noticing favored mementos that I like to keep in my “junk” drawer is an oil painting lesson that happens outside the studio. I may not be painting, but I am working my brain, testing compositions, and consciously combining colors that suit me. I look at these objects–little statues, glassworks, postcards, images from magazines–and I ask myself why they’re so appealing and try to figure out how they work together.

Artist Paulina Olowska transformed the everyday objects and images that inspire her into an art piece.
Artist Paulina Olowska transformed the everyday
objects and images that inspire her into an art piece.

“Painting” away from your studio this way can really help you figure out how to oil paint successfully, but creating in a different way while in the studio does the trick too. I’ve gleaned many good oil painting tips from working with mixed media. Using found-object assemblage, collage, scraps of fabrics, and even exploring digital art, I’ve found my own creative sensibility that translates to whatever medium I’m working in and not the other way around.

If you see painting–and art as a whole–in your world and want to see what else is out there for your creativity, along with exercising your mind and really letting go in a fun way, the Secret Garden Zen Doodle Kit might be right up your alley. I always find warming up with the resources in this kit make me more fluid in my painting and drawing, and I am discovering how mind-expanding it is to zen doodle! I hope you try it for yourself! Enjoy!

 

 

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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