Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paint Like You Don't Have a Motive

Ever heard this quote? 

Dance like nobody's watching;
Love like you've never been hurt.
Sing like nobody's listening;
Live like it's heaven on earth.

I want to add:

Paint like you don't have a motive.

This should be the first "rule" of how artists work. To do this we must be uninhibited and passionate!

Inhibitions dry up creative juices.

Here is a list of distractors:

  • Wondering if it will "sell"
  • Over analyzing 
  • Overly concerned the "rules"/ technical aspects of painting
  • Ambitious / competitive
  • Behind in the job demands
  • Losing the inspiration behind the work
  • Comparing yourself to artists with more popular works 

Paintings are the words to the music of our lives.
Don't want to sound like a soap opera, but we can lose sight of the fact that all we are really doing is just showing the world our view. That's all original art is. To paint like you don't have a motive, leave inhibitions and materialistic motives behind and "adorn your painting with feeling". SHOW what that feeling is...  It may not be a prize winner, look like other art that is popular right now -or even sell. But it will be something you have done for yourself that feels good like singing in the shower and tending roses. It will make ALL your work have more soul and it will be a deep expression of who you are as a painter. You will always take pride in it. And you will know what connecting with a painting feels like.

Don't you think that people will pick up on that feeling when they see your work and connect with you? I do... I think that is what collectors are looking to do anyway. So put yourself out there.

Heart and soul works of art.
Here are some of my deepest most passionate "soul" paintings that I have mused over, prayed over, felt homesick and touched by, and adorned with paint and loved while I painted them. That takes a special kind of work. That means "putting yourself into your paintings." So I put my heart and soul into these works. There are many that will ALWAYS mean something to me and will always be some of my favorites. Here are just a few of those special works most that I have in my own collection:

 - An old barn near where I was born -©Dot Courson .

©Dot Courson- A road near Amish farms in our county 

Man on a mission - ©Dot Courson  (from a photo from a friend's mission trip)

©Dot Courson -Woods up the hill this past January's snow

©Dot Courson - An old place that reminded me of where I was born

©Dot Courson -A triptych of the Natchez Trace near where I've lived for a quarter century.

©Dot Courson -A painting I did right after meeting Andrew Wyeth and Helga in Maine

©Dot Courson  -Corner of the field near Corinth


  1. Some of my best work has occurred when I "just paint". Thanks for the reminder, Dot. These are all beautiful.

  2. Ralph- Just saw your comment...uh... I was painting I guess. :)