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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 11:04   #1
Andrew H
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Aids to better Painting

So,
what gets us in a perfect frame of mind, to produce a finished painting.

Is it the purpose built Studio, as an extention to the house, or a summer house hidden in the garden, converted with sky lights for that all important light that we all need, even to the kitchen table stuck in the dark corner of the house, with a botch job light source hanging overhead, or a small comunial area in a shared room which has to be folded away each evening before daylight returns.

is it the peace and quiet enjoyed early morning before the family wake, and get underfoot, the stillness of late night painting when the household have retired for the evening.

Maybe a little background music to help you achieve that mindset for a few hours stroking of the canvas, maybe just the warmth of the sunlight through a window, or the scene down the garden overlooking the stream (I wish).

Maybe a little alcofrolic beverage to help the arm determine the first brushstroke - some here have quoted various preferences of juice to aid their thought process and give strength to their convictions.

Discuss.................
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 11:47   #2
nickderry
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inspirational starting point - so birdwatching first of all, then once I've got something to paint, things that get me in the mood are a tidy studio (which is never the case) not too cold (so winter's a bit hard) music - at the moment Rocky Horror by day and Beuatiful South by night. I've got the spare room set up as my studio, it's a frightful mess in there, but for years I've always wanted my own space to paint. Now I've got it, I find myself rather lonely in there so still prefer coming into the living room to paint.
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 12:40   #3
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The words tidy and studio should never be used in the same sentence Nick it's an oxymoron surely! Currently listening to the Dixie chicks but moving on to Alterbridge and Les Miserables. Pascheran, Southern comfort and vodka & coke, not all at the same time though...

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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 13:00   #4
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Didn't mention the tipple! Whoops, gin is good all round painting booze, beer is for the gigglier pieces, wine is more of an emo tortured soul drink, vodka makes me see purple snipe, rum goes well with coke and TEA is a gift from the gods, especially when livened up with any of the above (excluding beer and wine, offer non cumulable, only one transaction per customer, net value 0.001p) - always wanted to collect a thousand of those coupons and demand my penny!
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 14:01   #5
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So,


is it the peace and quiet enjoyed early morning before the family wake, and get underfoot

For me, early morning which is actually mid-morning for many, but anyway the quiet part of the morning, accompanied by a good cup of coffee. That and sunshine out the window are a good place to start. Possibly alcohol when I was younger but now I think it would just put me to sleep.

After that who knows. Often I do best when I know I have a full day ahead of me with no interruptions. But sometimes I do best when I only have 30 minutes and know that I need to head off to work right after that.

And of course music. Here there's a station that is mainly classical in the morning and afternoon and jazz at night. That works well for me, tempered by our independent rock station when I don't like what's on the other station.

What is a tidy studio?
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 15:39   #6
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Used to be a somewhat clean studio and a beautiful expensive sound system with only instrumental music, no voice unless it was a foreign language.

Now anything goes, my studio space is the smallest I've ever had, only a table top in a 6x8' nook off my living space. I listen to books on tape sometimes when doing some repetitive work I don't have to focus on much. Still love classical, but it has to be a certain kind, nothing too heavy on the dynamics of orchestra, right now it's lute. Easiest painting to start is the next one. Finishing is sometimes tricky, and have to play games with my mind sometimes to get one done. Almost anything gets me painting, but lately I've found one thing that stops me completely, taking care of a dying cat that is very sick this week, her last week for sure this time, she's been sick for 2 years, but now this is the end. Just can't concentrate at all.

No booze for me, as one glass makes me whoosy and foggy headed.
Some times herb tea, or coffee in the morning, decaf, none after 2pm or I can't sleep. Recently science discovered some people are caffine sensitive due to a certain gene, and other aren't. My sister can drink coffee before bedtime and go right to sleep, not me.
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 16:22   #7
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For me a computer study, which rapidly becomes a dumping ground for everything else from the other parts of the house, Really its a small 3rd bedroom sized with a 'L' shaped desk, and a book case(Thats all folks - size forbids the rest). One small window for light, although I have now invested in a dalight bulbed angle poise lamp when needed....
The Easel is a desktop variety purchased from 'ALDI' for a small sum, and sometimes gets moved to the kitchen table infront of patio doors....(more light here folks), but is subject to movement and disturbance at short notice.
Peace and quiet works for me, but as I only get time at weekends, Ive yet to enjoy the early morning or late shifts of time...
Alcohol, Not tried any of these strongly mentioned aids, This may account for me limited expression and flow of ideas lately...
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 16:35   #8
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The best aid to painting for me is a goodly supply of subjects, ducks at the moment!!
A silent battery powered hairdrier to use in the field would be nice. I seem to be forever waiting for paints to dry in this weather.
A gas bottle and a heater would be even better. The local hides get very chilly.
Gin always gets me in an inspirational mood. I take it with me to add to the water to prevent my brushes freezing (so I tell the better half). Glycerine is so boring!
Perhaps the best thing to help me finish paintings would be an' invisibility blanket' like the one Harry Potter has to keep from getting interrupted when out painting. I'd settle for a pair of gloves I can draw and paint in though. Can't seem to get a pair that work.

Oh! and a bacon and egg butty really gets me in the mood.

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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 18:04   #9
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Hate to praise you fellows too much--might give you all big heads (or, considering the alcoholic references- bigger heads!). But, after a couple years of inactivity, its been reading this forum and seeing your work that has inspired me to get back to field sketching and painting! Like Nick, for me it's seeing the birds in the field or in my yard (I have great studio windows) and getting ideas from actual scenes. Re.music--strange thing there. Sometimes I enjoy music and it helps me get lost in the painting. But other times it drives me nuts and I need peace and quiet. Probably depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. Coffee is also a valuable tool at almost any time of day!

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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 19:20   #10
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Addendum: Birds! How could I forget the most important part. Thanks to others for reminding me. Everything else is secondary to having a subject you'd like to paint.

And after that I think, like Sid, that this forum has to be way up at the top of the list. I'm sure it's doubled or tripled my output and quality. It's an inspiration to see such good work on a daily basis!
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 19:21   #11
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First off seeing a good picture, or getting in the mood to do my own work, somehow things don't flow if i'm not in the mood.

Music is optional, lyrics are fine, unless they are really pronounced.

I tend not to drink or eat whilst painting, but as they only take a few hours at the very most, that's not a problem.

I generally paint in the kitchen, so i just push aside everything to make room. Once i'm in the zone, i find it difficult to get distracted, so mess or music don't really bother me

oh and good natural light!
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Old Wednesday 3rd March 2010, 04:03   #12
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Just to be inspired with what touched your heart. That will motivate you to create under any conditions, wherever you are. I've been in the most awful places when I created my best. To have a rule book, place, music, alcohol? It is only YOU that does it. That is a good STUDIO to start from! To link it to anything else will create only dryness IMO.
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Old Thursday 4th March 2010, 16:29   #13
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phil,
I think you've hit the nail...It comes from the heart, and if you can finish with a fantastic piece that perfectly describes the moment in front of you, regardless of surrounding studio, then you have done the job...
My mind recalls those sketches done on the front line in IRAQ, a while ago...simple watercolours done whilst walking through Bandit country......etc etc
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Old Monday 8th March 2010, 18:35   #14
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this is gonna sound weird... but when im painting I put the telly on and listen to.... wait for it.... jeremy kyle.... this morning, loose women... yes I said loose women... murder she wrote, that antiques programme, with that orange guy in it, David something or other.... Dickenson... then midsommer murders.... then I have had enough telly, and do some painting.... joking... I have these on in the background... but I never ever watch any of these programmes when not painting.... I occasionally listen to the blues, or classical music.... my worst habit is... I smoke more.... I give myself little goals, such as, I will finish this wing, then stop for a rest... and when I rest, I light a fag.... during normal days, I hardly smoke at all.... this painting stuff will kill me eventually.... the wife and I used to celebrate the end of a painting with a G and T when I signed it.... but I have stopped drinking, so we dont do that anymore..... we dont do a lot of things anymore, but thats a different story, lol.... as for inspiration.... lokking at a difficult subject and wondering if I could do it justice with a paintbrush, working out how I would paint a certain texture, usually gets me going to the studio for a bout of jeremy kyle, Ive just realised Jeremy Kyle could be used as rhyming slang for pile, and they are both a pain in the A***..... any way I digress..... Paul
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Old Monday 8th March 2010, 19:07   #15
nickderry
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this is gonna sound weird... but when im painting I put the telly on and listen to.... wait for it.... jeremy kyle.... this morning, loose women... yes I said loose women... murder she wrote, that antiques programme, with that orange guy in it, David something or other.... Dickenson... then midsommer murders.... then I have had enough telly, and do some painting.... joking... I have these on in the background... but I never ever watch any of these programmes when not painting.... I occasionally listen to the blues, or classical music.... my worst habit is... I smoke more.... I give myself little goals, such as, I will finish this wing, then stop for a rest... and when I rest, I light a fag.... during normal days, I hardly smoke at all.... this painting stuff will kill me eventually.... the wife and I used to celebrate the end of a painting with a G and T when I signed it.... but I have stopped drinking, so we dont do that anymore..... we dont do a lot of things anymore, but thats a different story, lol.... as for inspiration.... lokking at a difficult subject and wondering if I could do it justice with a paintbrush, working out how I would paint a certain texture, usually gets me going to the studio for a bout of jeremy kyle, Ive just realised Jeremy Kyle could be used as rhyming slang for pile, and they are both a pain in the A***..... any way I digress..... Paul

I used to get fag ash all over my paintings, when I gave up, waiting for paint to dry was the hardest part - temptation was very strong.
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