Monday, February 1, 2010


It's Monday. The only thing I have to offer today are dusty thoughts about painting. This past week has been a busy one for me. I totally renovated my home office, had my computer overhauled at the same time and worked . My part time job sometimes expands to a little more than part time but then ebbs to less than part time. The fact that I work as a decorator in a home decorating centre keeps my mind on colour and design even when I'm away from painting. After five years of being fancy free, I wanted to have contact with the public again. I an a better person when I have a schedule.

Now that the dust has settled from the renovations, I'm ready to begin painting again. I have four new paintings set up and I'm trying to complete four more. They seem to accompany me where ever I go. I make mind edits, expand ideas and consider new options. I call it painting in my head. I'm sure every artist has this aspect of their practice. All of our experiences get filtered through our creative brains. It's called experience.


Kathy said...

Hi Margaret - I think that painting in one's head is very valuable to our overall process. If I can't picture the work in my head in advance, I can't paint it. You must feel a sense of relief to have a new office and computer overhaul!

Anonymous said...

yes, a painting always begins and continues in the head! that's a given and only aritist people can understand how this works, I think!

going to look around your site some more...

come by and see me sometime soon..ciao

-Don said...

Some paintings have stewed in the back of my brain for years. Others are thought of and put to canvas within days. They ALL live within my thoughts until I finish them.

I never thought of it like this until I was digesting your post, but once I finish a painting it no longer occupies my thoughts. Hmmm... I'll be giving that a little more consideration...

I guess you could say a painting never leaves my head until I sign it. Once it's on the canvas I leave it there...


layers said...

I couldn't agree more-- when we have work started in our studios-- we carry them around in our heads all the time

Mary Paquet said...

Well said, Margaret. I am always painting in my head. I guess that's why when someone asks us how long it took to paint something, we could say months or years.

I found your piece on Jacques Nimki very interesting. You are giving me some much needed art education.

Shayla said...

A schedule is helpful, isn't it? I work best with one too.

hwfarber said...

I usually try to match the canvas to what's in my head. Congratulations on the renovation.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Margaret,

Having a schedule has me agreeing and disagreeing, for I have discovered that it also can work against one, causing 'writer block' for the artist.

Since I do not only paint, I find myself thinking about creativity on multiple level just about every hour, provided the mind is clear and not confronted by barriers.

Having contact with the public is critical if we are meant to grow creatively. Besides having no contact is rather boring after a while.

warmest regards,

Margaret Ryall said...

It seems I'm not alone in my mind painting. I agree with Don that there are paintings wafting around in my brain that I haven't attempted yet. Unlike Don, sometimes even signing a created work doesn't stop me thinking about it. This is true especially if it is a painting that has deep personal meaning.

Mary's point about how long it takes to create a painting from conception to sending it on its way is a good one. The answer of years isn't always far off when you add your experiences into the mix.

A schedule is working for me right now but who knows what will happen when I am pressed for time just before the opening. We'll see. I agree Egmont that it can work against one. Having a variety of creative options on the go is invigorating.

Kathy, I think you are probably more adept at seeing a finished painting in your mind than I am. I create much I hadn't planned in the process. I get my best ideas there.

Carmelina I will indeed drop by your site again.

Donna, Your comments are always so affirming just as your blog posts add so much to my consideration of life and art. That's quite a hard thing to do.

I like the way you put it. ... match the canvas to your head. Somehow I imagine you changing in mid stroke but who knows.

Shayla, My new Canadian blogger friend . Thanks for the visits.

paula said...

look forward to pictures...i know you, no boring white walls right :)

Mark Sheeky said...

I wonder if your pictures turn out better the longer you think about them? Is there a point where you just have to stop thinking and get painting?

I find it all too easy to get lost in eternal pictorial fantasies. Thank heavens for deadlines or I'd have nothing to show for them!

Margaret Ryall said...

My walls are always boringly neutral with some splashes of colour in the things I spread around a room. I need serenity to off set my active mind. My space now is boringly beautiful- great for composing.

Thinking about a work too much is a form of procrastination for sure. There comes a time when you have to execute the ideas. I don't think work actually is better because you think about it more before hand. I'm sure there is a minimum amount of thinking but a maximum -not really.