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No rules or expectations; Starting a new painting…

Ah, the thrill of starting a new painting! There’s something incredibly exciting about facing a blank canvas. It an opportunity; A space that is ready to be transformed into a world of colour's, shapes, and emotions. - I can create anything I want. There are no rules, sure there are expectations, but no rules. This is something that I have been exploring in my studio practice, the absence of pressure, expectation and rules.

As a largely commercial artist a lot of my work is based around my commissions but recently and with the opening of my new studio space and art school - Creative Lab I have been exploring what it means to have a studio painting practice again, and I am really loving what I am discovering in addition to the impact that it is having on my work.

So today I decided to start a new canvas painting, a portrait. - I have been thinking about this moment all week. As I completed this weeks commercial art projects, murals, designs, illustrations. All I could think about was getting back into my studio and starting this painting.

One of my favourite parts of starting a new painting is gathering all my supplies. It's like preparing for a little adventure. Brushes of various sizes, a palette of vibrant colours, maybe even some new tools or mediums to experiment with. I lay everything out, put on some comfy clothes and my apron and set the mood with my favourite music or a podcast. This process has become a moment of mindfulness for me, a moment of reflection and calm.

As I dip my brush into the paint and make that first stroke, I have found that I do so with full awareness. Noticing the way the bristles interact with the canvas, the way the paint spreads and blends. Each stroke is a moment of creation, a step in my artistic journey. By making myself be fully present, I find that I am fully immersed in the process, experiencing the joy of each movement and colour.

As I continue painting, I also embrace the journey of peace and mindfulness. I pay attention to the sensations—the feel of the brush in my hand, the sound of the bristles against the canvas, the sight of colours as they merge and transforming. I block out all the noise. If my mind starts to wander or I feel frustrated by a section or difficult angle I gently bring my focus back to the present moment and the joy of creating.

I have found that by approaching the preparation to paint and my studio painting practice with mindfulness, has completely transformed the entire process into a meditative and enriching experience. Im excited to discover what impact this approach will have on my practice and the piece that I produce.

So, next time you step into your studio or to your paint desk, remember to embrace the moment, breathe deeply, and let your creativity flow with presence and intention.

Happy painting, and may your studio be a haven of peaceful creativity!

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