How to start a new painting

How to start a new painting?

The other day a friend visited me to have a talk and some demonstrations for painting. My friend loves art and wants to give it a try for herself. She has seen a lot and has a taste for art. But she has nearly no experience with using a brush. One of her questions was: How do you start a new panting?
Actually a good question and a difficult answer.

How to jump on a white canvas?

Starting a new painting is always somehow exiting – at least for me. I never know where this journey will lead me to – and seldom I make plans which I then will not follow. In the end my start is always fed by the impulse of the moment. The most I have in mind is a color direction. Maybe there is even a theme deep back in my more unconscious brain.

There are many ways to start. I paint it black – literally. Or I take another color. I use up the colors of my palette to make bold marks. I see something and paint it with black marker onto the canvas – knowing it will take some effort to get rid of it again. But that’s what I do it for. I create a lot of ground layers and challenges that will force me to leave my habits.

Warming up

My head has been occupied lately by a lot of technical stuff. I find it difficult to switch back into the realm of creativity. Today finally I got the hang of it. I jumped over my cautious voice in my head that whispered “better start with a smaller canvas” and took the largest canvas available in my collection here in the studio.

How do you manage to come back to painting after a longer brake?

My helper on the way away from reorganizing my website since weeks back to my colors was this week a teaser course called “Find your joy” (in painting) by Louise Fletcher. She is a wonderful teacher and calls herself a messy painter – something I feel very related to.

The last exercise of this week she offered was a reduction in the use of color and movements but a diversity in using different tools. I did this on paper – nice warming up exercise.

Doing this exercise with the small paintings was a good start into the day. It helped me, not to postpone my the beginning of a new painting to another day. Suddenly this little exercise opened up a new the road to “how to start a new painting on a larger canvas”. So again, a surprise for myself about how I start a painting.

Image starting a new painting
Starting a new painting 5

This is where the canvas is now. I wouldn’t call it a painting. But: this is something as there is something. First steps are done. We will see where it goes from here, everything is possible!


If you want to follow up my steps and jumps in my artist life, you might like to join my newsletter list. Once or twice a month you will find in your mailbox a comprehensive update and overview about my artist journey, new works, about exhibitions I am planning to participate, exhibitions I think, that they are worth a visit and special offers I make time by time to my newsletter readers.

I want to receive the newsletter

* indicates required

Want to know more?

You are interested to read more about my starting experiences? About my beginnings with painting? Here in “how to start an abstract painting” you find more detailed answers about my artist journey.

Visit my website to get more information
www.artgoppellandhampel.com

If you want to find your joy in painting, there is an opportunity coming up!

Louise Fletcher starts a new “Find your joy” course end of this month (June 2020). It last 10 weeks and I am pretty sure it is worth the time and the money. If you want to learn more about it, you find the information by clicking “Find your joy”.

A large painting as work in progress

How to start an abstract painting


An artist friend asked me the other day: How do you start an abstract painting? I didn’t give her an answer yet. Now here is a series of photos that may tell a part of the story. But it is the story of these particular works. It may be quite different with other paintings I do or how others artists design their process. There are so many ways to start a new painting. Not all ways are invented by now.

How do I start an abstract painting?

When I was starting my painters journey about 20 years ago – after some very few lessons in working figurative – I was so lucky to visit a painting workshop by an Austrian artist. Her name was Fria Elften-Frenken. She lived in a beautiful kind of farmhouse on the Neusiedler Lake. She had studied in the academy of fine arts, Vienna and was well known. One of her remembered sentences was: “It took years to forget about what I learned and to start doing my own art.” Consequently she would provide us with materials but not with lessons and ideas. She was always ready to consult when we were stuck. But we had to find our own way.

I am lucky that I had this kind of start. That was what I was looking for in art. It is this kind of freedom. It allows you to do what you want. In a way, there is no right and wrong. If it is appreciated by others is a second questions. Art is a lot about expressing yourself. Of course there are many of things to be learned. About ways you can take, materials you can use and thousand other things. But what you do, how you get there and what result comes out of it, that is your own art.

At the beginning another sentence was in my head about something artists experience: “the angst of the white canvas”. I don’t know where I had heard it and why it stuck in my head. But influenced the steps I took. My very first act in that lovely farmhouse garden was „to paint it black“. No more angst of white canvas that might have ask for perfection. From this move I learned a lot!

70 way – no, some ways – to start an abstract painting

One beginning is to start with paint that has been left over from another painting. I turn the painting, to change perspective and to build a new harmony from another angel. This helps me to open up my view and to leave ideas that occur too early. I make a photo to see it from a greater distance, to see what is strong and what is weak. Sometimes I take a larger brush and some paint and close my eyes before I make a bold movement. This way new discussion point is evolving. Something new has to be handled. A new crossing on my way to somewhere.

What really matters at the beginning

Now I use many different ways to start a painting. However most important for me at the start is to do what ever my body and my intuition is telling me. Brain is stopped, judging is stopped, its just acting out what comes to me. With my black canvas I learned that everything is possible. You can turn a black canvas back to a white one. Nearly every mistake will be forgiven and can be a starting point for a new fascinating move.

As an example the featured three paintings are rather “straight forward” . Others undergo much more dramatic transformation. Look here to find out how that looks like: Wonder of transformation – from old to new!

When to finish an abstract painting ?

Great question, not only mine: how do I know that an abstract painting is finished. That’s another question to reflect about. But not today!

I hope you liked the little insight into my painting practice! Would be lovely to get some feedback!

Now after all see here the rather full process of the development of a painting. For large paintings like this one (160×140 cm) I like to build the frame myself and prepare all the steps. It feels like I am already building a relationship with the painting to come. My energy and my attention is already familiar with the canvas. There is a lot of magic in painting. What is your experience?

Want to learn more?

If you like my art and are interested to get all news about latest artworks sign up for my newsletter. You will be informed about exhibitions I participate. In addition get in time announcements for special offers. Relax with information about art which will be in your mailbox once or twice a month. I would be happy to be in touch with you! Learn more here!

Have a look at the website:
www.artgoppellandhampel.com

This is a new start. I wonder what comes next! Find out and stay tuned!

Perdidos en el tiempo y perdidos en las galerías

A veces me siento un poco malhumorado.

Olvido los días, las fechas y la hora, vivo sin reloj. Me siento como flotando en el tiempo, no hay direcciones, no hay “límites duros”, no hay citas, no hay obligaciones. Sólo me despierto y repaso los asuntos diarios que todo pasa en la casa ya que no debemos salir de ella. Comencé una serie llamada “Perdidos en el tiempo”. Son sólo dos pinturas todavía, pero parece que podría ser más.

Estoy en una burbuja de tiempo. Por un lado me siento como alimentado por tanto tiempo en mis manos, por otro lado me siento como en un barco sin timón. Estoy a la deriva, pero hay una corriente que me lleva en alguna dirección. Parte de la corriente es la pintura.

En este tiempo especial cambié mis hábitos de pintura. Estoy en una burbuja de tiempo. Por un lado me siento como alimentado por tanto tiempo en mis manos, por otro lado me siento como en un barco sin timón. Estoy a la deriva, pero hay una corriente que me lleva en alguna dirección. Parte de la corriente es la pintura.

Si quieres ver pinturas no ocultas, las encuentras arriba y más en mi sección de arte Artist Support Pledge.

Las pinturas “perdidas”…….

Continue reading “Perdidos en el tiempo y perdidos en las galerías”

Lost in Time and Lost in Galleries

Sometimes I feel a bit moody.

I forget days and dates and time, I live without a watch. I feel like floating in the time, there is no directions, no “hard limits” – no appointments, no musts. Just waking up and going over the daily business that all happens in the house as we are not to leave the house.I started a series called “Lost in time”. Its only two paintings yet, but it feels like it could be more.

I am in a time bubble. On one hand I feel like nourished by so much time at my hands on the other hand I feel like in a boat without rudder. I am drifting, but there is a current that carries me in some direction. Part of the current is painting.

In this special time I changed my painting habbits. I started to paint on paper – only on paper. Canvas, the underground I normally like to use, seems too durable, too long lasting. Paper is light, smaller, drifting, more open, not so serious, qualities that all seem to be more appropriate for this exceptional time. With paper I paint flat on my working table, which faces the window instead of working on an easel that makes me stand for light reasons with the back or the side to the window. So I contemplate for many hours the view, which is beautiful but now it shows a huge building place. They are building new houses in my earlier green zone!

If you want to look at not hidden paintings you find these above and more in my Artwork section under Artist Support Pledge.

Hidden paintings

The other day I was a bit moody and longing not only for a long walk outside but was missing my paintings. More than 50 percent are locked-in as well, they are in galleries and a showroom! Now they are “Hidden Paintings”! In a little restaurant in Mijas I installed a beautiful wall with some larger paintings. They are hidden since 20th of January!

Paintings in Alboca Gastro, Mijas

Hidden Paintings in Gallery van Gerstel, Marbella

Hidden Paintings in Gallery Saphira & Ventura in New York

In October 2019 I delivered in person 12 paintings on board in this beautiful gallery in the heart of New York City.

I was so fortunate that some of them were part of a group show in February. Since then they are locked down. Now time goes and all the galleries are closed since long. New York is one of the most hit city by the Corona Pandemie. Who knows, when galleries and museums are opened again?

Want to read more about these exhibitions? Tapp here! About the adventure to take my paintings to New York City? Tap here. See all paintings you can find in NYC here: Click Artsy Website.

Get latest news from my artist journey, life pleasures and challenges! Get new offers first! Join my newsletter he

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

New works in the Artist Support Pledge!

Good news! Three – inbetween four (!) – paintings will go to a new home – as soon as the post offices open up again! It’s not a week yet that I sent out my newsletter about my participation in this wonderful initiative! (Want to know more about Artist Support Pledge? Click here!)

My Costa del Arte Collective colleague Annabel Keatley and I, who participate in the initiative of the Artist Support Pledge have event got the attention of the local press! The article is announced for next Friday! Its wonderful that we got so much attention through the internet! Especially as all art shows in Spain are canceled. We had planned and prepared for an exposition in Fuengirola “Sun and Shade” which should have started 20th of April. Of course is not going to happen. Hopefully we can open it in autumn.

We are still in a very strickt lockdown which was just prolonged till 10th of May. I sincerely had hoped for the permission to do some sport for an hour or so outside. But that seems not to be in the new decisions. My rescuer will be the trampoline – finally the new elastic bands arrived! Its a urgent contrast to standing and sitting work at the computer or the easel. So the trampoline is the only possibility to simulate running at the moment!

With the extended confinement I will have more of this special time to contemplate the view from my window – which I often do as it is beautiful – but I never used is as a source of inspiration for my paintings. The stand-still inspired me to do two exercises: a literal-stand still in my place and concentrating on what is in front of me AND to do the opposite of a stand still for my mind: move to do new things. This very special time gives a lot of chances to think about life.

Here they are, the paintings of the series “From my window”. The middle one is one of my rather realistic paintings and features the view. I love the bold colours in the flowers and in the “Building houses”. I am aiming to capture more the spirit of a situation than the real view of it. The flowers are out bursting in the planter of the balcony with the most incredible red and greens. The tropical garden holds a bit of a dreamy landscape (and is sold already to one of my newsletter subscribers). Enjoy!

New paintings

Still available

With a little tear in my eye but with a happy heart I will say “Good by” to these three as they have found very nice new homes:

They were the favourite obviously – they would have found other houses as well. This is the wonderful and the sad thing about most art works: they are unique. So if you buy an original painting your are sure to have an unique piece of art in your home or office.

If you like art + puzzles…..here you have a great choice!

More than 8 puzzles easy, medium and rather difficult ones are waiting for you! Each of it an art work from me! You don’t need a huge table, just your computer!

Click onto the painting or the caption to get there!

2018GL03 Pink house at the fjord

Have a good week! Take care and stay safe!