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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


Blog 6:24:18 Copyright 2018 David Limrite Artist Teacher Coach Mentor The Demands of a Painting.jpg

Study for a new series. More details upcoming. The pose is not what I wanted but the mood is. “Untitled”, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 24”x 18”. © 2018 David Limrite

“One must work long and hard to arrive at the truthful. What I want and set as my goal is damned difficult, and yet I don’t believe I am aiming too high. I want to make drawings that move some people.”
Vincent Van Gogh

The Demands Of A Painting

As you engage in the process of creating a painting, you must deal with the work in progress. This painting in progress will most certainly make some real demands of you.

Here are my top five demands that my paintings require of me:

1. A painting demands that I constantly make choices while I am working on it. 

If I start with a blank canvas, everything I put on the surface is a choice that I get to make. 

And must make. 

Each brushstroke is a choice, which by the time I am finished, could result in 10,000 brushstrokes. Give or take. Color, value, line, edge, shape and texture all require multiple choices.

2. In order to create a painting, I must have a vision for how I think I want the painting to look. 

Then, I head in the direction of my vision. 

This requires showing up, beginning and staying put in front of the canvas long enough for something to happen.

3. As I head in the direction of my vision, my painting demands that I remain flexible throughout its creation. 

As I paint, I react to the the things that are happening visually on the surface of the canvas, assess and adjust. It could be that I have to make a left instead of a right. 

It could be that I have a change in motivation, which requires that I head in a different direction. 

It could be that the painting wants to take me in a different direction, and if so, I must be willing to go there. 

Watching what happens on the surface of the canvas as I work on it makes being flexible much easier.

4. A painting demands that I approach it with courage and confidence. 

If I can, the end result is always better. 

Courage is a choice. I try and approach my work as if I know exactly what I am doing. (Even if I don’t). 

Confidence requires that I have fun creating. Having fun makes painting more enjoyable and also leads to better results.

5. A painting demands that I constantly take risks. 

They don’t always have to be big ones, so long as I am pushing myself and my mediums. Courage and confidence make risk-taking much easier. 

Risk-taking can be scary but is so necessary for learning and growth. Balance risk taking with the things that you already know how to do.

Don’t be afraid to take on the challenge of creating a new painting. Know that the painting will make many demands of you. 

Accept these demands and create anyway.

Bring it on! You can handle it.






Arroyo Grande | San Luis Obispo, CA
August 3 - 5 | SOLD OUT (Wait Listing) | Click for more
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In this inspirational workshop, you will have an opportunity to embark on a journey filled with exploration and discovery. Working from a live model, you will work in compelling and fearless ways to create contemporary figure and portrait drawings, paintings, and mixed media pieces using graphite, charcoal, acrylic and collage. You may also use pastel, watercolor or oil paint sticks.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide intermediate, advanced and professional artists with the opportunity to explore their creativity through the figure and portrait, as well as… + CLICK FOR AUGUST 3 - 5 or + CLICK FOR AUGUST 17 - 19

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