A Light Bulb Moment

light bulb, light bulb moment, artist, what every artist should knowThis week a light bulb went off!  Not at home, but in my head.  I learned about what every artist should do and I think you should know too.  It’s actually something I’ve known all along but that little devil on my shoulder kept talking me out of it.  And here it is:

You should paint what you like painting!  That’s it.  Paint what you love. Draw what you love.

As an artist, I’ve done it all.  I’ve painted landscapes, seascapes, still life paintings, abstracts, animals, people, cityscapes and more.  Some I’ve loved and some I haven’t.  Some were created because I thought they would be what the public would like to buy, and some were painted because that’s what others said I should be painting.  But to be honest, the love did not show in those paintings.  They were lacking “life”.  There was something wrong with the colours, the brushstrokes, movement and balance.  They looked tired and frankly quite “boring”.  And now I know why.  I was only half-hearted when I painted them.

I know a number of artists who paint Perth landscapes simply because Perth people are more likely to buy something that reminds them of where they live, but really, if you’re doing it to sell rather than because it’s something you’re passionate about regardless of if it sells, then it will show in your work.  It will look dull and the whole painting will be missing that certain “spark”.  But if you paint your favourite subject, whether it’s your grandmother’s garden, or baby antelopes, or even rusty train tracks, then you will enjoy every second of it.  You will get lost in the moment and will relish every single brush stroke.  And people will notice it. They will be drawn to the energy, the passion, and the love that you’ve put into it.  And the sales will come too.  You’ll see.  Now how about letting that light bulb flash in your head too.  Think about what you really love painting or drawing.  And do more of it.  Lots and lots.  Put all your love, energy and passion into it, and the rest will come.  You’ll see.

10 Responses to A Light Bulb Moment

  • Love your Newsletters Renata, always thought provoking.

    • Thanks, Lee. Glad to know that someone is reading them. 😉 I hope all is well with you. I love seeing those beautiful pastel pics you’ve been putting up on FB.

    • Hi Renata. I totally agree with you. I has my light bulb moment two terms ago. I was seriously considering giving up my water colour painting as I was never happy with what I did. Then you suggested us doing our own thing and I chose a theme of animals and I have enjoyed everything I have done since. I still get some that don’t turn out quite right and perhaps sometimes they do not look like the “true water colours” but I love trying to make my animals look as lifelike as possible and am now eager to carry on. So thank you for turning the light on.

      Ann x

      • I’m so glad it’s made a difference for you Ann, and I agree, I notice a huge improvement in your work! It’s absolutely amazing. Looks like you’ve found your niche. Keep going!

  • I read your newsletter, too, Renata, and love all your paintings on FB. Absolutely agree with painting what you love – I figured that out a while ago – so my style of art isn’t ‘trendy’ at the moment, but it will come around again. Meanwhile, I just keep on painting and loving what I do. Too boring to paint for ‘the masses’!!!!!

    • Absolutely. I’ve found that art has “trends” and what’s popular now, becomes boring in the future, and then comes back into popularity again. I’m loving what I’m doing at the moment, despite people saying to me “you should paint local scenes”, or “you should paint portraits” etc. No way, I do what I want now! 🙂 I love your work too, Gilly, especially your birds and horses. Amazing!

  • Great Renata, I think your Light Bulb has definitely sparked a fuse which will hopefully lead to a big explosion in art work straight from the heart in people everywhere. Thank you x

    • Thanks, Cathy. A number of people have commented on how much this blog has meant to them. I hope I have inspired many people to paint from their hearts. Hope you are still creating your own masterpieces. Drop in an say hi sometime. 🙂

  • Bing ! … my light bulb has just turned on. You’re right…. I should just start painting shoes, shoes, millions of shoes. Thanks a million for the great advice, Renata !

    • You’re welcome, Lidia. You so have to paint shoes. It’s what you were made to do. I hope you’ve started already. x

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