What should I paint?

Apples and White Pitcher

Apples and White Pitcher, 10×8 oil

People think it’s great that an artist gets to paint all day, and it is. But every day I have to find something to paint. For years I painted landscapes. A couple of years ago I ventured into the still life.

Successful artists tell you to “paint what you love”, “paint what you are passionate about”.

I love a dynamic sky, flowers, and birds. I hadn’t really painted flowers or birds until this last year or two. The online class I just completed (see previous blogs) was all flowers and it was great. Eager to continue with flowers I looked into my photo reference files (we are just coming out of winter here in Michigan). My spring flowers are just beginning to peek out of the dirt, but it will be a few weeks before I have anything to paint from my garden.

I started with an Iris, then a garden scene on a 6×6″ panel—maybe too small for such a large subject.

Iris    Flower Path 2

I saw some paintings by Cezanne of some apples and got inspired. I bought some apples and set up a still life with a white pitcher on a sunny day and painted this 10×8″ oil.

Using what I learned in class I noticed old habits trying to resurface and I kept thinking of shortcuts that might be easier. I only have to step back and look to see those sabotaging thoughts aren’t working. Stepping back from the work is one of the most important parts of painting…

…So is deciding what to paint, at least for me.

One thought on “What should I paint?

  1. I remember after graduation thinking, “Wow, now I can paint what I want to paint!” Then I struggled to figure out what it was I wanted to paint!

    Liked by 2 people

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