Here are a few out-of-the-ordinary ideas to try. Sometimes being silly is the way to rediscover joy.
- Paint with a child, preferably a two- or three-year-old. Ask him or her about responses to color. Listen as she or he makes up stories while flinging the paint on the paper.
- Paint a dream. You can even start with a nightmare.
- Seize the day. Sketch or paint a scene directly from life. Forget about photos.
- Create a predominant undercolor. Try red, gold or blue for starters, and let it show through your painting.
- Patch one eye or in some other way impair your vision. If you reduce the image to its simplest lines, you’ll see things in shapes and colors.
- Explore your reactions to color by keeping a journal. Examine your earliest memories of color. Think back to your favorite outfits when you were a child or teenager.
- Make color swatches and then form a collage. Experiment by positioning the swatches in different arrangements.
- Explore the relationships between music and color. Do you see colors when you hear favorite arias or songs? Listen to the blues while undertaking a series of blue paintings.
- A signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor West and the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society, Catherine Anderson lives in Glen Ellen, California. Her painting Harbor Fog was chosen to be included in The Best of Flower Painting 2 (to be published by North Light Books).Visit her Web site at www.catherineanderson.net.