My lizard brain is clearly in control.

I need advice.  Since most of my art is abstract in nature, there is not a lot of planning that goes on before I sit down to paint.  I’m sure that some abstract artists do a lot of planning and are much more organized than I am, but my typical modus operandi is more along the lines of the following:

Step 1: Sit down.

Step 2: Paint.

Step 3: Stop when I feel like it.

Sometimes I have an idea that I want to explore but even then my finished product rarely ends up looking like what I had in mind.  So, clearly, I am very comfortable giving my subconscious free reign when painting or drawing, and I am usually as surprised with the finished result as anyone else seeing it for the first time.  Here’s where I need some advice and/or ideas.  I’ve noticed that my lizard brain seems to frequently gravitate towards a color scheme including shades of blue, magenta and yellow ochre.  I do love those colors together but I’d like to branch out a little.  Since my process is so random and unplanned, how do I convince the lizard in my head to try something different?  I’ve tried hiding the colors that it favors, thereby only giving it access to new colors, and I’ve taken to saving images of stuff that reflects new and different (for the the lizard) color combinations, and I’ve tried setting out to paint a little more consciously and deliberately with different colors.  All of those efforts have been fleetingly successful but when I let the lizard take over, I often end up once again with blue/magenta/yellow ochre.  Does anyone else have this color scheme rut issue?  Is it just me and my lizard?  What do you guys do to branch out of your color comfort zone?

The painting below is acrylic paint on watercolor paper and it consists of many layers of transparent and semi-transparent paint. I used matte acrylic medium and water to achieve the transparency with slightly different results.  I love that acrylic paint allows for this kind of layering without looking muddy or compromising the integrity of the layers below.  Without further ado, here is some blue/magenta/yellow ochre for your enjoyment (hopefully).

Leave a Reply