Learning to Paint Pictures starts in the Mind

I’ve been talking in some previous Blogs about observing the world around you, looking for shapes and patterns in nature. But there is little to gain if you’re not learning from these observations. You need to store what you are seeing in your mind.

In my previous life before art took over I was an academic involved in teacher education. All my research concentrated on schema theory and metacognition. Both of these have a lot to do with how successfully we learn and learning to paint or learning to be a better painter is no exception.

Schema theory explores how we store what we know about the world in our minds. We group similar concepts together, we link ideas that are related, we check new information against what is already in our mind. We are constantly arranging and rearranging what we know about the world. The monitoring of information is called Metacognition which relates to what you know, monitoring this against what you might need to know. Nowadays children are taught to use mind maps to show what they know about any given topic. Using mind maps can help you be a better painter. Developing metacognition skills can help you be a better painter and especially help you construct a better painting.

Today we are going to make a Mind Studio to help you store what you know about the world and to help you use this to improve your painting skill. This exercise is good for everyone to try but especially if you are #teachingart in a #nursinghome.

Create a “Mind Painting Studio” in your head.

Imagine inside your head you have a house with many rooms with adjoining doors. Pretend you are walking through your Mind House and choose one of the rooms for your studio. Make sure you give it some windows both for light and through which you can observe the outside world. At this stage you don’t need anything else in your Mind Studio except perhaps a “chair” to sit on if you get tired. Later on you can decorate your Mind Studio - a great activity for when you can’t sleep at night. Just open the door of your Mind House and straight down the corridor to your Mind Studio. Paint the walls, the ceiling if you wish, open up more windows, hang your favourite “pictures” on the walls. It’s your room so you can do whatever you want to. Now that you have your own MindStudio you have somewhere to store all the information you have about #Art, #Drawing, #Painting. Don’t be overwhelmed. And I will guide you. For today, practise going in and out of your #MindStudio. And ask the question: What do I know about how to paint?

Tomorrow: Painting starts with ideas and storing those ideas

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on anewman@netspace.net.au or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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