View Full Version : Where do you paint from?

12-24-2002, 06:21 AM
This question may seem odd, so allow me to explain.

I first picked up a paintbrush at the age of 19. I had had a handful of creative things I had done before, writing being the primary one. I dove right into oils and never looked back. My first painting was titled "Three fates of inner conflict". After that my frustrations with women and relationships in general fueled my art. After four years of feverishly painting some of my work was put up for display in a local coffee house. Some of the work had very bold color while others were subdued. The night I hung my art I met a girl that changed my life, albeit not entirely for the better.

After a few weeks I stopped painting entirely.

There was no fuel, everything seemed to be going fine.

Fast forward four years to the time when this woman decided she "couldn't do this any more". She had been the person I felt I could go to with anything, and now she is gone again. I didn't really feel the pain until I saw her again. Since then. my head has been swirling with ideas. Seeing her happier without me than she was with me put me in a very dark, dark place. Now I have began painting again, after a four year hiatus it is hard to pick everything back up again. I am dealing with my anger and sadness over this loss.

Each painting I do seems to stem from moments of unvoiced extreme emotional pain. Something I can't put into words.

I paint from a dark place.

Where do you all paint from?

12-24-2002, 07:15 AM
Sometimes I paint from a dark place, sometimes from a wonderful, free, beautiful place.
It's all in my head, trying to get out.
The world isn't always darkness and pain (although it does seem like it sometimes), remember to paint the good stuff up there once in a while, because all your emotions are legitamite.

12-24-2002, 07:21 AM
I paint from where ever I am that day, every day.

PS - give or take a couple of days off here and there to re-group, be in "the world out there", etc.

12-24-2002, 07:39 AM
Upon some further reflection (and also looking at some of my older work) I did realize that I didn't always paint when I wasn't feeling happy. Shortly before I met my now ex I was relatively happy and just pretty much living life. Perhaps my style changes more with my mood. When I wasn't unhappy (I refuse to say I was happy because of a certain condition of mine) my work became more complex. I got deep into cubism and the like. Currently I am rediscovering my surrealist side, as surrealism seems to convey my emotion better than cubism. Imagine that...lol.


12-24-2002, 01:33 PM
I can't paint from "a dark place." If I am feeling low or angry I just don't feel like painting. My main motivation to paint is in trying to create or capture beauty. I like to find compositions, textures, forms that I find appealing. I actually find dark and neutalized - earthy - colors appealing and so my paintings themselves tend to be dark.

12-25-2002, 10:41 AM
I paint from a place of peace. I find art and creativity a wonderment. A magical spiritual place. I am in awe at most times at the flow. It comes from somewhere outside of me. I am present yet I am not.

I never take it for granted, I am open and willing to allow myself to grow and sometimes literally watch a piece unfold by itself.

It is an adventure that I feel blessed I can participate in. I enjoy the mistakes, the messed up pieces of work...I find a tantalizing pleasure in tearing a piece apart and creating another piece...I only can learn.

As Mame said take time to be in the world "out there", but I thrive better in the world of creativity. Like I said, its where I fit and I am at peace.

12-26-2002, 09:27 AM
WELL artcreator,

I'm RIGHT there with you!! I've been living in a marriage with emotional abuse ..... and neglect .. for 6 years . ... like you, I thought this man was my answer to happiness .... lonliness, after a bad first marriage. I'm very angry .. sad ... and everything else that goes along with it. So I have to face a broken heart just as you have .... and I have to choose to do this myself ... walk out of this marriage ...and away from a man I love, because he's not good for me. I have a long road ahead ... and I don't look forward to it! :(

When I started painting (the first time in my life) a few months ago ... I painted from a very angry and dark place too. I painted with hurt ... pain ... great sadness ... and depression. Those were very dark paintings .... very strange.

But then ..... I began to force myself to work with brighter colors, happier themes ..... and go into my imagination. Well ... there are allot of 'dark' things in there ... yes .... but there are also many funny, abstract .... whimsical surreal things too. I chose to play with those. I still do emotional paintings .. like the one I posted here titled "Reaching" .... but I also play with my childish imagination too .... and create 'little' folks ... playing around, balls with eyes .... and legs .. and arms ..... and all those stories I've been keeping inside my head for all these years.

So I guess I do 2 things ... paint from a dark place once in a while, but mostly now ... I force my child to come out and use her imagination ... and fun ... and even though I'm still living in the abusive situation ... I know I'm leaving .. so that makes me happy........ and I keep remembering what I want to show the world ... the crazy imagination of this child. :)

HUGE HUGS for the hurt and pain ... that I know all too well, and a small prayer for your child to come out and play. ;)


12-27-2002, 01:52 PM
I guess I'd have to say that I paint from a desire to make a change. To make things that are become a way that they are not, the way Alice wanted her world to be. To exert control and enforce my ideals with a paintbrush. To analyze my emotions in paint so that the question of someone else's intentions all boils down to contrast, form, and the right shade of blue. It's a purification process, a sorting of the mind, a righting of things. It's not usually a question of where I'm coming from when I paint, but where do I want to go?

12-27-2002, 04:04 PM
I understand using both joy and pain as a place for inspiring creativity. I use them myself for writing. However, being newly exposed to using this medium for my creativity, I cannot say that I paint from anyplace yet.

Texture and color drive me--it strongly influences what I put on canvas. Is the paint thin? Is it thick? Do I use a knife? Do I use paint thinner? Do I use red or prussian blue? It doesn't matter as long as it is appealing at the moment and speaks to something inside me.

I get frustrated when I have painted something...and wake up the next day and wonder "what was I thinking?" If I still love it the next morning...woohoo! I know art is subjective, but since I paint for myself and to stretch my creativity, I consider it a victory for my inner self.

12-27-2002, 10:33 PM
I paint from a place inside me that gets excited and doesn't know why. I started to say that that part of me wants to come out and be seen but it certainly is elusive. There is a lot of deep emotion that I'd like to express and it isn't necessarily (can't spell it) sad emotion, although it may be in part a cumulative effect of years of experiences, some of which were extremely sad.

Sometimes when I am deep in worship of the Lord, I'd like to paint that experience, but I haven't reached that point in my ability yet....oh who am I kidding? I'll never be satisfied with my art. I'll always try to go deeper, deeper, deeper, and higher, higher, higher.

12-28-2002, 02:36 AM
DD: I'm sorry to hear that you were in an abusive relationship. Sometimes the people we love the most can be the most toxic to us emotionally. I can relate to having to walk away from someone you love quite well, I just haven't found the strength to do it yet. She and I still talk, hang out, etc... I know that this girl loves me very much too, but we aren't necessarily meant for each other. She's very positive and upbeat, she has a very child-like nature, yet she is very tied to what she belives in. Where as I am more analytical and given to huge flights of fancy. She is content with being a nurse, and I think that is a great thing for someone to be able to be. I would rather struggle, fight and claw than to really be tied down to something that only stimulates me intellectually. I want to create, destroy and create again. Perhaps this makes sense, perhaps it doesn't.

Sunny: For me that peace and sense of overall well being comes after I paint, when I feel as though I have accomplished something that I set out to do and done it in a unique way. Sometimes I lay in bed for hours and just think about what to do next. These times excite me very much. This is where I find my peace.

DuhVinci: I view my work as a landscape within my own psyche, how I percieve things around me or things that I feel. Right now I feel anger and pain, but I also feel very hopeful for the future. I see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. This is something I am very, very thankful for. A couple months ago I couldn't see that light at all and I was completely irritable and very unpleasent to be around, now I think I am much less that way.

Mame: The day by day approach is a good way to go, I like it. As far as taking a day or two off, belive me, I will do that. Though right now it seems that I have so many ideas that they are almost leaking out of my head...lol.

Beloved: I think we all desire to make some sort of change, whether it be in the world or within ourselves. Personally, I hope that some day my work will ingnite a fire in someone else, for me...if I do that...influence just one person who may go on to be great...then I have done my job. :D

Ali: I understand on some level about the writing, that was my original creative outlet. Even as a child, I dealt with a lot of my own issues through my writing. I have done the paint something in the middle of the night deal on many, many occasions. One of my all time favorite pieces I did this way, after staying up all night with some friends I walked past a painting that I had been struggling with. It was a self portrait of sorts done in a lot of brilliant purples, reds and blues. I said to myself "I know exactly what this needs" and then painted for many hours, keeping the general form of the image but draining all color for it and shifting things about a bit. This was during my cubist style experimentation, but when I woke up I really liked what I saw. Everything black, white and gray, but in the center of the chest, just below the sternum there is an eerie purple glow that seems to radiate from beneath the gray. I wish one could really see that in photographs...lol.

Paintbrush: My heat starts to beat hard, my palms sweat...I love that feeling when I paint, that is when I feel I am really doing something that can be wonderful. We as people are a sum of our life's experiences...I was not prepared to paint what I am painting now at the age of 19. As far as the going deeper and deeper, higher and higher goes...I feel that we should all aspire to continue improving our craft. We need to not paint ourselves into neat little corners and become one trick ponies, but to continue to grow and mature as artists...if we do not we stagnate.

I can't believe how much I am posting here...lol...it's good to be in contact with the art community for the first time in years.

12-29-2002, 06:14 AM
I find that I cannot paint in a dark place anymore because it always came out as the same painting over and over again. I haved lived my life trying to keep away from negative things like hatred, jealousy and anger, so the only dark environments I know are the troubles of the world, and so it was the same thing that came to my head.:clap:

12-29-2002, 12:49 PM
I find that often my work comes from a sort of 'middle ground' ; something that's not from the top of my emotions, such as anger, happiness, or something else I can plainly see. A lot of what I do is something in between emotional states. I think that middle ground area is very interesting; the blends between wonder, dread, connection, disconnection, etc., are often, for me, the images that stick, and also the hardest to successfully achieve on canvas. But sometimes it does happen on its own, almost automatically.

cobalt fingers
01-01-2003, 09:23 PM
I paint from about 18" in front of my easel.

01-05-2003, 01:58 AM
..and, truth be told, sometimes I paint because I'm bored and it seems the thing to do. :D

01-06-2003, 12:11 PM
I paint in my studio...this is my place of peace. I put on my paint covered smock...unplug the phone and go to another dimension where time stands still. Until I feel cold and stiff and notice it's gone dark:D