Starting new work

It's always a tricky moment starting out on a new painting, but also a great opportunity to try something new.

That blank canvas really can feel quite intimidating, especially if we really need to produce something. Actually, it's just another chance to play and have fun.

I was looking at a recent piece of work, and I was pleased with it. Initially, I thought that I should try to start with this in mind. However, this rarely ever works out. It is often tempting to be safe and try to recreate the successful piece, but this normally ends in a weak replica at best. That energy and vibrancy won't be there and it was this state of mind that made the initial piece of work a success.

The trick is to start not one but two or even three new pieces at a time and forget about trying to produce a painting but think of it as merely an exercise. I often keep a painting or two that hasn't worked out so well to hand just to help free up my thinking.

Some days in the studio are very unproductive, I can spend the whole time just applying paint onto a surface only to wipe it all off again. Then just as I am about to call it a day and start cleaning up, I do a few quick marks and suddenly there is something interesting starting to happen. If only I could start off like this I think, but never seem to be able to.


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