Art Unboxed

Art Unboxed – Banking Your Painting

The above watercolor may have been the last one I did that day. In many ways it was the best of the day. This little scene was random, not based on any specific scene, and a resort of banking ideas.

In my book, Writing In Real Time, A Guide For Writers With Busy Lives, I talk about banking ideas. Whether in art or in writing, it’s a valuable concept. While the watercolor above is simple, it’s not a first. I’ve painted a version of the scene more than once.

The idea of a painting of a statue is intriguing. Because it intrigued me, it’s a subject I’ve returned to. Because I’ve returned to it, practicing it, each version is somewhat better. It’s not a product of itself alone, but of those who came before. It also gives me a subject for my “I want to paint but am low on new ideas” list.

New ideas are important, they provide both inspiration, and insulate us against ruts and rusts as an artist. Painters should, on a far less important level, practice the same idea that Jesus wrote of in Scripture. He said that a Scribe in The Kingdom Of God brings out treasures both new and old.

Antiques have a petina, a surface affected by age, time, and experience. The same is true of ideas. Good new ideas are wonderful, aged good ideas can become great. Even thoughts which may have been lackluster in the beginning, can become great as they are improved upon over time.

We know that many great artists painted multiple versions of their paintings, even though one version may be the famous one. Sometimes more than one version becomes famous, Monet’s haystacks come to mind. Most likely, Monet learned something about painting haystacks that enhanced his other subjects also.

What ideas, subjects, or themes do you find yourself returning to? If you don’t have any here are some steps, Although chances are you do, and may just have not viewed them this way. First, write down three subjects that you like. Second, look for objects, ideas, and concepts within those larger ideas. Lastly, think of different times of day or night, and seasons you can paint those objects in.

You’ll be surprised the interest you’ll gain from making regular investments in your idea bank. One idea can go around the world and back. At the very least, it will allow you to practice a hobby you enjoy greatly, which is a wonderful use of an idea.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: