Painting starts with ideas

"I don’t know what to paint" is a common refrain heard from artists of all ages. Whether you're a child in school, an adult attending art classes, or simply someone at home eager to express themselves through paint, the struggle to find inspiration is a universal challenge. However, I firmly believe that observation is the key to becoming a better painter.

As you go about your daily life, I encourage you to take notice of the world around you. Encourage your children to explore and discover new shapes, patterns, and colors in their environment. This practice of observation is not exclusive to children; adults can benefit from it as well. With the convenience of smartphones, most of us carry a powerful tool capable of capturing the beauty and intrigue of our surroundings. Many of my own paintings have been inspired by something I observed in my daily life.

If you find yourself lacking ideas, don't hesitate to begin by copying. Copying can be a valuable exercise in learning and honing your skills as a painter. However, it's important to give credit to the original artist whenever possible. For example, my painting "Day of Rest" was inspired by the work of Lawrence Lowry.

Day of rest by Anne Newman

Here is another painting I copied about 30 years ago from the Japanese Artist Mitsumasa Anno. You can see my Thanks Anno in the bottom right hand corner.

Thanks Anno by Anne Newman

Remember, creativity is a journey, and inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. Keep observing, exploring, and documenting the world around you, and you'll never be short of ideas for your next masterpiece.

And so to conclude this little chat about ideas here is one of my paintings which I encourage you to sketch, paint, make a digital version, make in paper!!

Wilcannia Bridge by Anne Newman

And please send in your version of my painting - I would love to see what you can do ... specially if you live in Wilcannia in north western New South Wales and nearly 1000 kilometers from Sydney!!