Sometimes people ask me how I pick the subjects for my art. Do you remember those bags where you dropped you hand in it to see what you pulled out? Sometimes picking your next picture feels like that. However this really can be the most fun of creating.
Many times I’m looking for a certain type of subject and I go searching on the internet for pictures that draw me in. Lately I’ve been drawn to boats. I started this because I realized with living so close to Galveston that people like boats, but it’s developed into more than that for me. I started with a boat on the shore and has jumped to boats on the water and the reflections that come with them. I think of the stories in the Bible with Jesus in the boat as well as my desire to get on the other side of something I’m experiencing. It also can feel peaceful on the boat and such a great place to ponder.
We are drawn to certain subjects and they can begin to repeat as they show up again and again. One theme that has been in my life for years is doors, windows and gates. Honestly they hold expectation of wanting to enter in deeper. I ponder what is on the other side of that door. I think about looking out of that window as well as looking in. I literally desire to open that gate and get on the other side. I’m drawn to these pictures and find myself saving them on pinterest or tearing them out of magazines.
I also have created a notebook with plastic inserts where I put pictures that interest me. I can be attracted to the colors, the patterns, the themes or sometimes it’s just a random thing that draws me in. When I’m looking for my next piece of art to create I’ll thumb through this book to get ideas.
It’s funny in writing this I’m realized how much I do love themes that emerge. I love flowers. This is really strange in some ways as I’m not a gardener at all, but it’s the beauty and the variety and the showy splashes of colors that draw me in. I also love taking pictures of flowers and this is a great resource for what to paint next.
My suggestion is to start noticing what you love. Find a notebook and put some blank plastic sleeves in it and begin adding pictures in. I find old magazines cheaply at libraries or thrift stores and go through them. Do word searches on google images and save them to a folder. Print them up and add them to your notebook. Start noticing what you are drawn to and what themes emerge. So what do you think you will create next? I’d love to hear about it.