Unexpected Inspiration Strikes!

Remember just last week I was moaning about my lack of inspiration and the unsuccessful art I was producing? If you missed that post, it’s here. My response to this feeling of ennui was to just stay in the studio and work anyway. I had to have faith that if I kept my hands busy, something would come. Well, you know what? It works!

I decided that I had nothing to lose, so would just keep experimenting and trying a few new things and not worry about the outcome. I had a small panel that was not working for me, so I decided to just layer on some pretty colours in a random way. It was really fun to put down colour with no forethought or analysis. Oh, right—fun—one of the missing ingredients lately!

Then I realized that the colours and shapes were suggesting an idea to me. It looked in my imagination rather like some roses at the top with maybe some leaves below. Roughly drawing in a few shapes with oil sticks, I then filled in the background with lighter-coloured paint, using a negative painting technique. I ended up with this, which I thought was quite pretty! I felt a little buzz of excitement after I finished this piece, which I haven’t felt for awhile.


This 10˝ x 10˝ painting of roses was unexpectedly fun to do.

So I decided to just go with that feeling and try a few more. Here’s a failed painting from a few weeks ago. Just way too cute for me. Also too stiff. I’ve been trying to get a bit more looseness in my work and this piece hit the opposite extreme. So, time for a big cover-up!

Potted Plants

This 20˝ x 20˝ painting was languishing face to the wall. I was dissatisfied with the style direction it was going. You’re lucky I’m showing it to you as I actually find it rather embarrassing. 🙂

Here’s what it looked like after I let loose with colour and my trusty palette knife. Ooh, pretty!


Where are the potted plants? Underneath this abstract somewhere! I think it actually works quite well as an abstract, but I wanted to push it further, adding some representational nature imagery.

After contemplating it for awhile I decided I could see fancy fish. Here’s where I cheated a bit. I took a photo and brought it into an art app on my iPad to fool around with imagery. Once I had a composition I liked, I followed it as a guide for drawing on the actual panel. I guess my spontaneity has it’s limits!

Fish #1

Here’s the next stage in this painting’s metamorphosis.

And here’s the piece, which I think is done.


I think this one is finished. Allowing myself to play led to this very playful result.

I’m not sure where this new direction will lead me, but for now I’m having a grand time. No painting in my studio is safe as I go on a bit of a rampage, covering up and starting over. I see them eyeing me nervously, wondering if they’ll be next to go under the knife (palette knife that is!). Bwaa-ha-ha!

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2 Responses to Unexpected Inspiration Strikes!

  1. Tina Siemens October 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    I love the progression of “The Fish”. They seem to look quite mischievous, as though they know who they are, and where they’re swimming to. Quite an inspiration! Also the progression of the plants to the abstract color painting. Lovely!

    • Dorothy Siemens October 30, 2015 at 7:24 am #

      Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the progress shots. I like the idea of mischievous fish.:-)