How to start a project/ painting? Sometimes finishing a project becomes a task and I will share my experience that has helped me stay on track.
Let’s start with, being passionate helps.
- Pick one project that you feel passionate about. Dedicate a particular time every day to the task. Take weekends off, but stay on track.
- Use an analog timer and set the time for 30 minutes or one hour that you have dedicated to this particular task. Don’t check your social media or even check time.
- Experiment with several time management techniques. Make an agreement with a friend or your partner to keep a tab on you at the end of the week. Report your work to them. They just have to read it to you, not critique. They can also respond a little which can motivate you to carry on or help you with any input. I do that with my friend. We tell each other about the project we are starting and then keep reminding or asking about the progress. It motivates you.
- Taking time off consciously even if you are not working on a project. It will give you a fresh eye when you go back to the project and also give you a chance to do something that you enjoy other than art like reading a book (although I am not much of a reader), going for a walk, playing a board game or just sitting and not doing anything (which is my favorite ). When you consciously take time off, you are not beating yourself or feeling guilty of not doing your work (which most of us feel when we are behind). You have chosen to do that. In this case I also like to meditate. Just sit, close your eyes and not do anything. Be in that moment. No distraction, no rush, nothing on your mind. Everything can wait. It has helped me a lot with my focus on what I really want to do.
- Keep a notebook with you all the time or be ready to write in your phone notes which I do. To do what? Write an idea whenever it comes to you. Even if it’s just a word or line. Like this particular article I wrote in breaks and not in one sitting. Just do bullet points. Also sometimes I write about what I want to draw next or how I am feeling and that feeling would be shown in my artwork. Reread your diary at the end of the day to see what you have accomplished.
- Make daily notes of things you have accomplished, make a to do list , put it on the fridge. Make a list of places you want to send your work to. I have made an excel sheet for that and I cross it off or mark it send to keep myself on track.
Changing behavior is hard. Be aware of your habits. Habits are not good either bad or good. Doing things consciously and being aware of what you are doing is something you want to accomplish. Something that is taking your time and not productive is better to spend on something else. I think that kind of sums up a lot of things to do and not do to keep you focused and do what you love.
After painting and exploring doors and windows for a while. I wanted to see if I could challenge myself and paint everyday a different subject. Painting something different like still life but not restricted to it and challenging myself. Objective was to complete one painting everyday and paint it loose without getting into details. Although I couldn’t resist from getting into details at some point. It started with small (3.5” x 5”) size. So here is my 30 day challenge of painting different theme everyday and sharing on social media like Instagram and Facebook. Although my subject was mostly still life from a cup of coffee to vegetables and fruits to flowers and flower pots. I picked whatever caught my eye that day. Most of my still life inspiration was driven by photographers sharing their work with me or from free stock images. Sometimes I would just lay out my own setup and paint from it.
Some days were better than other but the point was not to get hung up on perfection or details. Although I might have done a pretty good job in detailing few of them. If you want to read about how to find time and keep yourself motivated, read my other blog “ Motivating Yourself To Paint” .
‘ Doors’ always a mystery!
What’s behind it?
You could peek into!
My love for doors and windows are connected to Architecture. It takes me to a different dimension. Tell me so many stories of what’s behind it. It’s all imagination and how a person looks at it. It not only serves as an entrance or exit but also stepping into unknown. Doors and windows has been an important part of an architectural element in a painting for as long as we remember. Like for example at the time of Renaissance portraits with windows, doors and landscape in the background became very popular. A sense of space appeared on the canvas and man, nature, interior and exterior became one. In 17th century doors and windows became more prominent and bigger. They were portrayed as a bridge in between the world. Door becomes a primary form of spatial inquiry opening towards streets, courtyards and other rooms in paintings.
The reason I get attracted towards doors and windows is also partially related to my background in Building Architecture. I was always fascinated by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. He would design the space in his mind just by walking through the space.
His most recognizable work ‘Falling water’ is a perfect example of how outdoors becomes indoor. He is often quoted saying that “ A house should never sit atop of a hill but rather become part of it.” His organic design was also seen in his windows. His extensive use of clear glass with a touch of color. No other Modern Era Architect used the glass the way Frank Lloyd did.
I get access to these doors through internet and travel. Things that catch my attention are texture, rusting, peeling paint, the carvings and color is a powerful visual tool for expressing a wide range of emotions. The light, shadow plays an important role in how we perceive things around us and same goes for Architecture. There are such an amazing photographers who shares their day to day pictures and sometimes I stumble upon them by luck to discover their photography and get inspired. When it comes to photography one could think of painter turned photographer Roy Colmer. In the mid 70’s he photographed more than 3000 doors of his home town New York which is now exhibited at Lisson gallery and previously been exhibited at PSI and the New York Public Library. Another great example is beautiful windows by photographer Andre Vicente Goncalves who travelled the world taking pictures of windows. In 2015 he wrote a blog about his collection Called “Windows of the World,” the collection zeroes in what Gonçalves sees as the source of a building’s personality—its windows. Inspired by the architecture throughout the history.
As someone said that, “The way to see any space is that the viewer sees what is in the distance and at the same time pictures himself at the particular space.”