Day 1 of 31 Days of Art:
Deciding What to Do

One blank canvas.  
Now to decide what to DO on it.  

Gather Ideas

Antique Artisan Works:   I find old folk art and needlework very inspiring.  It warms my heart that people often made the commonplace items of their world in an artistic way.   Some examples are quilts, pie crimpers, signs, windows, canes....the list goes on and on. 

Other Creative Disciplines:  Use music, poetry, writing, dance, etc as inspiration for our visual works. Paint while you listen to music.  Express visually something you've seen or read or heard.

New Techniques to Try:   These are probably things you've seen other people do.   This is tricky, because as artists we don't want to copy another's creative ideas.  But using a technique in a fresh way is fine. Be sure not to use the same subject matter or composition when you try the new technique. 

Mistakes from Past Works:  I think most new techniques start off as mistakes in using another technique.  Here's how I imagine batik was discovered:  Some tired B. C. mom was trying to dye purple robes late at night by candlelight for the marketplace.  She didn't notice that some wax from her candle had dripped onto the fabric before putting it into the dye pot.  The next day daylight reveals the spot where the dye didn't take.  Her eyes open wide as she thinks about how to  use this mistake on purpose.
Things You've Been Thinking About:   Make a list of problems, memories, joys, hopes, dreams, questions, frustrations.  You get the idea.  One of these will pop out for you as a possible creative motif.  Personal example:   When I saw this map it engaged me so totally that I decided I have to do a series of paintings based on maps.  But these won't be of real places, they'll be imaginary worlds. I have a need of a map now in many areas of my life.

Combine Two Techniques:   When I was in college our art teacher had us make paper quilts.   This was in a 2D design class.  The quilt gave us a structure but using paper made it easier to do in a college dorm room.  Sometimes it would be to use 3 colors, sometimes it would be to make each square a different texture, sometimes it would be to draw a different pattern on every square of our paper quilt pieces.

Other Artists:   Here's my Pinterest board of art I love. Caution!  If your inspired work looks exactly like another artist's work this is not inspired by this is copying.  The trick is to figure out why you're inspired by the work.  Sometimes I just like their work, but sometimes it reveals that I want to make something with those hallmarks.  When being being inspired by others, use one feature as a jumping off point. 


Introduce Two Artists In Your Mind:   Sometimes I like to take two artists and imagine they collaborated on a work together.  What would happen if Rembrandt and Mondrian had collaborated?  If Bono were a painter, what would his paintings look like?   What about Art Garfunkel?  You see what I'm getting at.  This gets me outside of my head where I can swirl 'round and 'round and not get anything done in real life. 

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Use An Every Day Tool in Art MakingOnce I used a rubber stamp to make a drawing by building up lights and darks with the repeated stampings. This was back when I was a teen and worked in an office - I did it on lunch break. The rubber stamp said, "Due in 30 Days or Less".  Some ideas I've come up with is using kitchen tools for art making....or cleaning tools are super flexiible that way.  Just ask or your husband before you dip the family broom in the paint.  ;-)

Narrow the Idea Pool
  1. Eliminate any idea that would require you to buy supplies.  
  2. Eliminate any idea that feels like it's a copy of someone else's work.
  3. Cross off ideas that make you feel hopeless.
  4. Circle three that make you feel happy or hopeful when you read them.
  5. Look at the first two choices and eliminate one. 
  6. Now do the same thing with the last two choices.
  7. That's your idea to explore.
My ideamake a grid-like structure and do different experiments with layering color in the gridded sections.  This let's me off the hook as far as content goes.  It's really about paint and color.  I'm off to check out my Pinterest Quilt Board again for inspiration.

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Great ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

I am popping over from THE NESTER with all the other 31 day bloggers. We will all be busy for sure . . . blogging and reading. I enjoyed your introduction.

31 days of Christmas Wonder (#223)

JDConwell said...

I love the image of that lady with her batik, but see her coming into the cave to discover her three year old dripping candle wax in circles just to watch it harden... :~) If only I could have appreciated the patterns my one-year old made with red lipstick on the white antique chair. Hmmm.

jenclair said...

What a great challenge!

jenclair said...

What a great challenge!

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Glenda and Jan and Jen, for your comments.

Jan - Ah, yes! That's another good explanation. :-)

michelle @ this little light said...

I love this idea ... can't wait to see all the beautiful things you come up with this month! Beautiful blog, too.

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Michelle. I'm hoping it will kick start me back into getting some art made.

Georgia said...

this is going to be fun. I love some good inspiration!

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Georgia. I'm heading down to start my painting NOW. ;-)

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden