I have an obsession with art supplies. Every year at this time I always take inventory in my studio – cleaning and reorganizing, especially in my supply closet.
I have so many art supplies that I never use. I tend to have my favorites – like my fluorescent pink and white paint pens, my titanium white oil paintstick, my cobalt teal acrylic and a few inks.
These are the supplies I always come back to and I know I will love.
When I realized I’d run out of small canvases, I forced myself to use what I already had in my studio.
This pushed me to paint on the big canvases that had piled up – some white and untouched, others with layer after layer of abstract backgrounds that I never finished.
I had been avoiding these larger paintings because painting small felt very safe, secure and easy for me. But staying in my comfort zone made me stuck.
I had to force myself to not just fall back into what worked in order to move ahead, developing more of my style and finding my freedom to let go again. Once I started painting on the larger canvases, I began using colors I never used – teal green, paynes gray and black India ink. I combined these colors with my favorites. This made me uncover a whole new set of color combinations I loved in my new work.
If you are looking to develop your style, especially if you’d like to add more whimsy to your artwork, try using the art supplies that you never use. Or do a supply trade with a friend and start using supplies or colors that you normally would not be drawn to… it can open up an entire new, magical world of creativity and inspiration!
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