I don’t know what to paint is a common cry from painters of all ages. Kids in school, adults in art classes, you at home wanting and ready to paint.

As I have said previously -observation is an essential part of being a better painter. As you move around in your world try to record some of what is around you. Encourage your children to discover new shapes, patterns, colours in their world. As adults we can do this also.

Most of us now carry a phone which can be used to record an interesting object or scene that appeals to you. Most of my paintings have arisen from something I have observed. As artists we need a record of what our eyes have see. We need to store these observations for later use. You can begin to store some ideas in your Mindstudio as described in yesterday’s Blog

In my Mindstudio I imagine I have a filing cabinet of ideas for paintings. These ideas have come from my observations of my world and scenes I have snapped with my camera. I have categorised my photos and other pictures I have found from magazines and the internet into subjects I like to paint and filed in a real cabinet for later reference. When I get an idea for a painting I write it on a piece of scrap paper and file it in the real cabinet. This filing of ideas can also be done using your computer, phone or tablet. Soon I’m going to introduce using the software Trello for recording ideas.

At this point it will help if you make a list on paper or in your MindStudio of subjects you like to paint. Here is my list: Backyards, Buildings (Old Buildings, Weatherboard Buildings, Brick Buildings), People (as seen in our everyday world), Landscape Features (gumtrees, grasses, earth). You will see these subjects represented over and over again in multiple ways in my paintings. I constantly return to my favourite subjects of old walls and the people who belong with these buildings.

I must stress if you don’t have ideas for painting it is okay to start by copying. We will be discussing copying very soon. It is an essential part of being a good painter. However, please give credit to the original painter. My Day of Rest image has been taken from a painting by Lawrence Lowry. Take time to read Michael's Longley's Homage to L.S.Lowry included on this site.  

Teaching Art to People in Nursing Care  I have some Lifestyle people involved in the care industry interested in following my ideas. As often as possible I will give ideas that can be used to help people in care enjoy learning about might like to subscribe (through my website) to receive my daily blog.      

Nursing Home Idea for the Day    

  1. Have a go at creating a MindStudio using yesterday’s Blog.
  2. Start collecting pictures to paint. Give the residents magazines to look through and help them cut out the pictures they like. File these into subject folders such as Landscapes, Seascapes, People, Buildings, Flowers.  
  3. Talk to the residents about their favourite scenes from their past. It might be a scene from a holiday by the beach, travels overseas, their backyard. Put them in pairs and have them describe a favourite scene to each other.