Do you have some wonderful ideas that you are saving for a future masterpiece? Do you need time for the idea to percolate, like decades? Are you waiting for your skill level to reach high enough to attempt your masterpiece? What if you get to that point and after trying the idea it all turns to be dog poo? Think of all the brain cells you may have wasted over the years? You get the idea: should you paint every idea when it comes to you or save some for later?
Paint them now. You can learn from your attempts, and if you still think they’re great ideas, you can always paint better versions when you improve. If they stink, call them “studies.”
Gary, I took a photo while in Spain last year that I want to paint, but I know my skills are not where they need to be at this time for me to do the painting AND be happy with it. So I did a pencil study of the scene just to confirm that it will translate into a good painting. That I am happy with. And I put the photo in a folder that I labeled “future paintings.” As Connie said, there is always something to learn from an effort. But I also think some things need to be put on hold. I have that painting in the back of my mind, and I know that daily practice is helping to improve my skills so when I do try it, I have a better chance at feeling successful.
I do. I keep a file for references and make lots of notes in my sketchbook. Sometimes I am working along in one genre, say landscape, but all the while I am collecting ideas for something else, like still life. Or I make notes and sketches regarding a process or technique I want to explore but am waiting for the right subject to come along. There are not enough hours in my day to paint every idea when it comes along! And sometimes it is quite a long time between the generation of an idea and the actual execution of that idea in paint.
I have SO MANY that now I do not save them at all. I haven’t looked back at the ideas I already have saved! It’s usually a photo I took with a couple of notes about how I’d change a few things…but I have so many I realized that if I can’t paint now-don’t save. I’m sure a lot of the ideas are good but I figure with that many ideas … it’s okay if I don’t save them because I will always have more.
With so many things demanding my attention, my issue is the follow-through, for sure!
I just read a book called "Big Magic " about creativity and inspiration. Author said if you don’t act on inspiration when it comes to you it may get up and leave. It may go find some one else. I agree with Connie. Paint it when you feel it. You can always paint it again. If you lose your vision it’s really hard.
I have just started posting paintings on the Daily Paintworks auctions.
I have been taking part in the latest ‘30 in 30’ challenge which due to time constraints means I’m just doing small paintings, but the impetus to paint everyday has given me a ton of ideas to tackle once I’m finished with 30 in 30 challenge. It has given me lots of ideas for larger paintings.
The 30 in 30 challenge also means that if I mess up or I’m not happy with a painting, I’m still posting it to my blog and writing about what I learned in the process (I won’t be auctioning those). I have found it is a great way to toss your insecurities aside and just have go. So if it’s not a masterpiece today, then maybe one day, the idea will be!
I keep a regular notebook / sketchbook too to write down ideas when I have them.
A sketchbook frequently serves as both a notepad and a journal for me. Its blank pages serve as a birthing ground for fresh ideas, allowing techniques and media to be tried. It served as a visual diary for me.
I always embosy my ideas right away. I use as much skill as I can, and of course it doesn’t always get exactly what I wanted, but at least I learn. The point is, if I leave the idea for later, it can burn out. When I reach the “right” time for its implementation, I would most likely have other more interesting ideas. And by the way, it is more difficult for our brain to go for those tasks that we have postponed for a very long time. The brain has already mark such a task as “impossible”
I wouldn’t say that I’m specifically saving ideas - just that there are so many I can’t keep up with them! And that’s considering I generally work small, fast and often. If I could paint them all as they came to me, that would be great, but I’d need at least 20 extra hours in every day, and an endless supply of energy, which sadly I do NOT have these days…!
I have a folder on my PC called “to paint” where I put photos I’ve taken that I’d like to paint from someday. I crop them and sometimes tweak the contrast or colour slightly, to remind me how I envisioned them on canvas when I saw the subject in front of me. I tend to cycle through subjects - one week I want to paint still life, another week landscape, maybe the next month I have a cityscape phase. So I check the “to paint” folder regularly and pick out older pictures to work from as I go through these phases. This folder has been invaluable as I’ve been shielding for like… a year and a half, now? So photos have been a lifesaver, as they allow me to still paint landscape or people without actually having to be outside!
I also carry a sketchbook when I go out for walks in the countryside with my dad, so if I get the chance to stop and sit down, I’ll do a few quick sketches, as well as taking photos, to remind me of the atmosphere and any details the photo won’t capture. And I keep lists of still life subjects I want to work on, sometimes - if we have some nice fresh fruit or flowers in the house, I’ll keep a running list of “things to be painted before they go off” so I get as many done as possible. My memory’s not great, so this really helps me focus.
I see ideas everywhere. I go out for a short walk, and come back with twenty possible compositions. I paint two or three, but by the time I’m done I’ve found five or six new ideas to add to the pile. So I’ll never get through all the ideas I have… but that’s okay, I’d rather have loads of inspiration than not enough!