Tuesday, January 12

How to Keep Your Painting Vibrant

Reflecting the Light
Watercolor on Paper
 8.5 x 5.5 in/21.6 x 14 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2016
Has this happened to you as a painter? That is, you look at the paintings you've completed over the last several weeks/months/seasons (pick one), and all you can say is "Meh."

Well, me too. Sad, but true, all painters go through this. It seems to happen at the beginning of the year. I'm sure it has to do with the calendar page turning to January and feeling I should be showing some signs of progress and moving on.

Why is this? I came up with the following.

- Fear of (trying) something new--this is known a neophobia or cainophobia (drop that into the conversation at your next cocktail party)

- Boredom with your medium

- Boredom with your motifs/subjects

- Insecurity with your ability to paint (happens when you constantly compare yourself to other painters)

So, what to do?

To keep your painting vibrant, I heartily recommend:

- Overcome your neophobia by being open to change; quickly rip off the bandage that's holding you back and walk in the sunshine (you must and you will).

- Select a new or different medium and use it to paint your very next painting; I recently started painting with watercolors again.

- Paint something--anything--that you never or almost never paint; I am going to do several watercolors this month, which is a change for me.

- Embrace your own personal painting style and quit wishing your painting life away by fawning over other painters' work; a lot of painting and time are the only things that will move you to the place you want to be.

That's how to keep your painting vibrant.

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