Write like no one is reading: “Information Gathering”

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Write like no one is reading:  Information Gathering

Backstory:  Recently, I began to think about the traits necessary to keep painting when feeling lethargic about exploring my creative side.  Coincidentally, I’d read an article about the importance of writing, if not for others, than for yourself.  The phrase “dance like no one is watching” popped into my head and I decided to write a blog series exploring 10 traits that I’d identified and to put this into practice…write as if no one is reading.  I find that it’s easy to feel trapped by thinking about other’s opinions more than recognizing my own wishes.  My guess is that others may do the same.  Maybe writing with the idea that no one will read my blog will be “freeing”?  Today’s trait is #4 out of 10.

Information Gathering: You know, sometimes as much as painting can be all about why painters express themselves on canvas, there are also times when gathering factual information can also be just as useful.  When I began painting, one of my first steps was to gather information.  For example:

  • What kind of paint should I use?  Watercolor? Oils? Acrylics?
  • What brushes and/or palette knives should I use:  do I need the expensive ones? (For the record, I prefer plastic palette knives…easy to clean and inexpensive)
  • Where do I purchase supplies?
  • What kind of canvas?  Canvas board? Stretched canvas?  Gallery wrapped?
  • Who can help me?

It turned out that plenty of people were willing to share their stories and recommendations once I began asking.  One casual comment about the buttery consistency of acrylic paints led me to using acrylics.  I find that this is still true…one doesn’t need to stop asking questions just because you’ve become familiar with painting.  I also found that one question often leads to others, of course, and in unexpected ways.  It was an employee of a big box craft store that led me to Jerry’s Artarama…a location where their assistance is always spot on in terms of helpful and insightful info. And less expensive for the same products!

As I began painting, I wanted to learn more about techniques.  I purchased several “how to” books all of which were helpful.  I especially liked the “color recipe” books that shared not only color theory information, but “recipes” for mixing colors.  I also took several classes from The Art School at Laguna Gloria.  Let me say this, not only was the information gathered helpful (mixing paints, perspective, color theory, etc), the people I’ve met in the classes has been an added bonus.  Other people who I share the same interest…it gives you a chance to make friends with people you may not ever had the chance to meet.

All in all…I believe the gathering of information adds depth to your foundation and painting efforts.  As much as I lean towards making decisions using my intuition…researching factual details has eliminated hours of frustration.  I can lean on the facts, use that info as a starting point and then let my intuition lead me the rest of the way.

Next up on my list of important traits:  Humor

~Dawn Winter

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