My Grandson owns a coffee shop online and one in the Great Northwest called “Café Solace.” The beans are from Costa Rica, and there are many choices and blends that are absolutely delicious! On a recent trip there, Bryce took a photo of the coffee beans above. I was so enchanted by the color and the variation of shapes; I envisioned a painting in the works.
“You paint it,” grandma, “and I’ll put it in my shop,” he challenged. And so my “in-progress” painting began.
Most ideas come from random things like this: a photo that catches our eye, a scene outdoors that takes our breath away, an emotional sequence of events that stays with us long after the event is forgotten by everyone else.
|"First preliminary paint drawing -- work-in-progress"|
Some ideas come to us in dreams; others through the gift of a vivid imagination. I’ve shared with you before my fascination with my bathroom floor and the varied shapes and images created from dripping water and bare feet. Some of these have actually ended up as parts of paintings.
Memories from childhood also inspire many paintings, especially when paired with the children we encounter in our own lives. I wish I could live long enough to paint all the cherubic faces I’ve observed and admired over the years.
|"Moonshines" mixed-media on 18 x 24 canvas|
Inspiration can also come from others. I’ve run a few contests on my blog with the offering of a print as the prize. Although there’s no money to be made, a contest draws audience hence potential buyers. In addition, the entrants have already given the artist permission to use their material, so anything submitted is fair game. Several adorable paintings and potential paintings have come from this source.
Contests serve a purpose, but they usually have a price. Sometimes they cost you more than you get in return. On the other hand, you get to know some wonderful people and oftentimes make lasting friendships. If you regularly have contests, make the competition challenging and fun and the prizes nominal. In that way, people will have fun and you won’t have a great outlay of cash. Are any of you game to name the work-in-progress below?
|"Work-in-Progress -- Acrylic on 20 x 20 canvas|
Newsletters and, of course, blogs reach out to people in a way that advertising can’t. I must admit, I haven’t focused on a newsletter, thinking my blog may serve that purpose. I find the interaction and participation in many online artist sites has been the biggest boost to getting noticed.
Above all, have fun doing what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy slapping paint around and honing your skills in a competition against yourself, you should hang up your brush. In order to bring joy to others, you must bring joy to your work.
Here’s a link to my grandson’s online Coffee shop: http://www.cafesolacecoffee.com