#MicroblogMondays: The birth of a painting

Before I started on my art journey, I often wondered how artists came up with ideas for their paintings. What sort of research did they do? What techniques did they study? How did they prepare for a session? I never found any satisfactory answers – or maybe I didn’t look hard enough. So I thought I’d share my process for brainstorming and researching ideas and techniques for a canvas that I’m about to start.

The birth of a painting

In the middle of busy work loads and hectic commitments, I’ve been squeezing in some reading time. My Pocket feed is filled with articles on color theory and symbolism, color meanings and associations, the meaning and significance of color in different cultures, color color, and more color.


I’ve also been exploring and adding to my diary of personal symbols – the marks and shapes that keep coming up in my work and divining what they mean to me.  A lot of these symbols and their meanings are very personal to me and I don’t think I’m ready to share them, yet. But the beauty of personal symbols is that they can mean different things to different folks! Which is what makes art so special – its beauty and meaning lies in the eyes of the beholder.

All of this color and symbol immersion is a prelude to my next canvas. It’s going to be a mix of the intuitive and intentional. An intersection of chaos and focus. Infused with personal symbols and mark making and a riot of color, and out of that chaos will emerge something intentional.

Though I have painted intuitively a lot of times, this time I’m going in deeper with the process.

While it will remain, at its heart, intuitive, this immersion in color and symbols will bring in an additional layer of meaning for me as the artist.

I’m really excited about trying out this technique. Music, paints, following your gut, just playing without judgement or care. And then calming it all down, honing in to draw out the beauty from all of the chaos. Infusing the painting with intention and love – my own brand of magic – my offering to the muse.

What’s been firing your imagination lately? I’d love to hear, so do let me know in the comments!

Linking up with MicroBlog Mondays.

Posted in Art Journaling and tagged , , , , .


  1. That’s the beauty of the creative process, I find. It constantly keeps you searching for something out there and finding new meaning in old shapes, colours and patterns. I love your approach to art. It reminds me of my own approach to writing: continuously evolving, reading to brush up skills, trying out new techniques, tweaking it and finding satisfaction in the entire process.

    • Yes, that it does! Twisting and turning sources of inspiration to see what more we can do with it…evolving, refining, always learning!

  2. Creative processes are so intriguing, right? The idea can sprout from anywhere. Literally, anywhere and anything.
    Interesting approach. My approach to writing is quite different, but won’t bore you with that.

    • Yes, very intriguing, and very fascinating. And I would love to hear your approach to writing – please do share!!

  3. Creative processes are so varried and always have a certain amount of intrigue and intuitiveness to it. What to you are personal symbols in art to me are names. There are always certain names I tend towards while writing stories closer to my heart.

    • Yes – and it’s that intrigue and intuitiveness that I’ve always been curious about. Like this comparison you just made, of names of your characters being akin to what personal symbols are to me. If you ever wrote about that, it would be fascinating, IMO!

  4. This is so beautiful.. And the process, I guess in essence it is the same for all creative people whatever they might do. And it is also a work in progress, I feel. My imagination is doing a wild dance lately, it is basically confused and asking me to slow down and just enjoy one thing at a time for a while..

    • Thanks Nabanita! Yes, the essence of the process is similar, and it constantly evolves too. If you feel like you need to slow down, maybe you should try infusing your day with mindfulness…

  5. Such a beautiful painting and I so love the colours you’ve used. The trigger of creativity is unpredictable , it could be inspired by just about anything and shoot off an idea just about anywhere.
    Your posts make me think, Jini, so that could qualify as one more trigger 🙂

    • Thank you Mayuri! That was cut up and made into bookmarks! 😀
      Creativity sure is unpredictable – when and how it will strike. And you have to be quick to write down the ideas or they just disappear into a poof of thin air!

  6. Totally a novice about painting, but this looks so beautiful and vibrant! It’s a great way to express a lot of things, and is more complex than writing, IMHO. This one goes very well with your gypsy persona 🙂 I follow intuition almost entirely while writing and then hone it with whatever skills I have.

    • Thank you so much! I’ve always been drawn to color as a way to express emotions. I also find it easier to write about emotionally charged subjects than to talk about them. So I totally get what you mean about writing intuitively and then refining it – I’ve done it a lot of times too!

  7. Books are usually what inspire my imagination. But this is such an interesting topic — to consider how different people find inspiration or what drives them to start their painting.

  8. This is interesting. I never realised art would need research. I thought it would be all inspiration and intuition. It’s silly actually since I know writing certainly needs research so why not another art form! Was good to get an insight into your creative journey.

  9. “Music, paints, following your gut, just playing without judgement or care. And then calming it all down, honing in to draw out the beauty from all of the chaos. Infusing the painting with intention and love”…


    What’s been firing my imagination? Hmm… Lately I’m kind of limping along in that department I guess. When the imagination flags, I think it’s important to keep process alive. Keep going through the motions, you know?

    • I know what you mean – sometimes we limp along, other times we race – but, as you said, it is important to keep the process alive!

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