New Painting: Staying Present when Painting

New Painting: Staying Present when Painting

“In the moment”. Painted February 2022.  10″x10″. Acrylic on cradled wood panel. 

I’ve been doing a month long challenge sponsored by the local art supply company Opus.  Today’s prompt word was “present”, which I interpreted to mean “being present” or in the moment.

True to my Scottish heritage, I can’t stand wasting paint, so when my stay-wet palette gets a bit too messy I use the remaining paint to lay down some foundation colours on my next canvas. These colours usually don’t represent anything, but it ensures that I start the next painting on a pre-toned canvas and sometimes happy accidents occur. 

This time, prompted by the Opus Challenge, I decided to just paint in the moment, letting the painting evolve organically and using whatever paint was on the palette and a very OLD and SCRUFFY brush that I’ve found is good at blending acrylic paint. I also didn’t rinse my brush out between each colour change, which made for some very interesting blends.I usually approach a painting with a plan in mind. In this case, I didn’t have any idea what was emerging, but then I started to think about the pinkish-orange blush that early morning clouds get in the summer, just before the sun peaks over the horizon. I think this would be a great study for a future landscape, although the chances that I could ever recreate it again are slim to nil.

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