75 Reasons Other Than Describing a Subject to do a Painting

My natural tendency is to try to get everything right. I think it has to do with the way I was raised and the fact that I went to Catholic schools, but let’s not go there! One good thing about rules – if you find them and follow them, you get to feel that you’re being successful. And that’s exactly how I approached my art early on – I searched for rules to follow and I aimed for an accurate report of my subject, which gave me some criteria that let me feel I was creating a successful painting. But when the question, “what do you want to say?” became a part of my conscious awareness, everything shifted, and I had to find new some new criteria. I began a quest to find reasons other than verisimilitude to do a painting. I love making lists, and at one point I sat down and started listing all of the ideas I could come up to do a painting other than simply describing what my subject looks like. If I was no longer going to rely on description, facts, details, and making a pretty painting for putting together my representational subject matter, then what was I going to rely on?  In one sitting, I came up with 75 reasons before it finally dawned on me that the possibilities where endless! Here are my 75 reasons:

  1. an unusual or exciting combination of colors 
  2. the exploration of space
  3. the exploration of texture
  4. dramatic scale
  5. playfulness
  6. humor
  7. express an inviting feeling
  8. happiness
  9. a soft mood
  10. a hard-edged, controlled mood
  11. make a social comment
  12. dramatic mood
  13. pattern
  14. light
  15. a sense of wonder
  16. mystery
  17. obsession
  18. passion
  19. a zoomed-in look at something
  20. love
  21. hate
  22. agitation
  23. strength
  24. fragility
  25. movement
  26. sadness
  27. an element of design: shape, value, color, line, texture, line
  28. ecological issues
  29. grief
  30. elegance
  31. loneliness
  32. aloneness
  33. solitude
  34. aging
  35. scenes from childhood memories
  36. fantasy
  37. fairy tales
  38. the sacredness of life
  39. what if?
  40. the beauty of nature
  41. spirituality
  42. motherhood
  43. boredom
  44. fear
  45. the child within
  46. celebration
  47. depression
  48. unconditional love
  49. conflict
  50. something you think is weird
  51. the joys and sorrows of parenthood
  52. health concerns
  53. rage
  54. contrast
  55. motion/movement
  56. angularity
  57. a song title
  58. places you love
  59. relationships
  60. your home
  61. special objects
  62. a special time in your life
  63. friends
  64. family
  65. hobbies
  66. special interests/passions
  67. personal problems
  68. women’s issues
  69. personal growth issues
  70. women’s work
  71. women’s roles
  72. rhythm
  73. the rhythm of life
  74. the artist within
  75. struggle

Happy Painting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *