abstract oil painting
Renew, oil on canvas

Renew is the first painting I finished since moving. It’s on an 8″ x 10″ canvas, the perfect size for someone who is unsure of what they’re doing.

When I started this painting, I had no clue what to do, I just knew I needed to paint. To get out of my lackadaisical habits and start doing things that make me happy (happier than sitting in my bed and watching TV).

At first, this painting looked like this:

oil painting in progess
Renew as a work in progress

I wanted something like a moon and the thing in the right corner was going to be a fire or something. And for some reason I thought the green fit with with the other colors (which it doesn’t). Overall, the painting was just a bunch of strange blocks of color that really didn’t go together very well.

It had to be more organic, more natural looking. The colors weren’t supposed to be fighting for attention, they were supposed to be working together. So finally I nixed the green, destroyed the moon, and spread the fire to more corners of the canvas.

I also focused on adding extra texture to this painting. I wanted large blobs and lines of paint to make the painting more 3-dimensional and more interesting to look at.

For my first abstract oil painting in many months, I really like Renew. The simple color scheme and basic composition fit well together, and I like that I was able to organically make the changes I wanted to without over-analyzing the painting. I titled it Renew because I’m trying to renew my interest and focus on painting so as to stop being a lazy slob that spends 95% of her free time watching TV.

I have my up and down weeks, but since Renew I’ve finished and/or started three more paintings. Hopefully the two I’m working on now will take off (for whatever reason I am struggling to finish them), but in the event they don’t I’m gearing up for another new one soon.

I’m hoping my current struggle is with the paintings themselves and not my desire to create. I’ve found that to keep myself on a positive track and not get sucked into a downward spiral I need to focus my energy and create something – whether it’s a painting or a necklace or a scarf. After many years of the struggle I have learned:I need to create to stay positive.

What helps you stay positive? Let me know in the comments!


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