Somedays when I first arrive at my studio I "warm up" by doing painting exercises. Other days I immediately know what I want to do to my painting as soon I enter my space. This past Sunday my warm ups consisted on playing with Indian Ink, water-soluble graphite and black acrylic paint on inexpensive paper. I did this exercise before focusing on my paintings.
My goal was to play, make marks using the tools list above and start on another sheet of paper then another. Not judging, just playing. Then I put all these sketches aside.
I have been watching the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design. A few of the episodes resonated with me by the talented, generous, down-to-earth artists featured. In one episode the graphic designer Paula Scher said, "If you are not in a state of play you can't make anything." So true!
So Tuesday, back at the studio I got to a point where I was stalled with my painting so I decided to do more warm-ups in this series of scribbles with ink, graphite and paint. But first I reviewed the pages from Sunday. Eureka! I discovered my sketches, the scribbles and doodles was the key thing missing from my work. I was getting to literal with my painting.
So I played on a few more sheets of paper loosening up and left the studio in a better place. Sometimes warm ups work just as well at the end of your studio day. Playing works all day.