Me, Myself & Art
If you enjoy my art this is the place to learn about my process and where I find my inspiration. I look forward to sharing my art journey with you!
42 Abstract Concepts to Paint
Me, Myself & Art
by Courtney Hatcher
How to Create a Concept for an
To Get You Started:
(Definitions found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Cambridge Dictionary and Dictionary.com)
*See the artwork I created based on these themes by clicking on the word!
"To become quiet. Suppress."
"To set afire. To begin to glow."
"Something that makes progress, movement, or achieving something difficult or impossible.
"To expand or increase abnormally or imprudently."
"A natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity."
"Kept from knowledge or view. Working with hidden aims or methods."
"The sense of one's own value or worth as a person."
"To make a change."
"The quality or state of being alone or remote from society."
"An apparatus that detects the presence and location of a submerged object by means of sonic and supersonic waves reflected back to it from the object."
Feeling Stuck in the Middle of a Project
Sometimes I get to a certain point in a project when I know I'm not finished but I can't quite put my finger on what is needed to complete the piece. When this happens taking some space away from the project is just what I need.
Stepping away from the piece of art that has me creatively stumped allows me to clear my head and when I come back it will be with fresh eyes.
Occasionally the act of just leaving the room and doing something else for a little while is all I need to be refreshed and feel ready to work again.
Simply stepping away doesn't always work though.
There are times when I just get stuck.
My paintings have a sense of looseness and improvisation to them.
However, they are created with deliberation.
Every layer, color, stroke, shape, etc., is well thought out and intentional. Sometimes I make happy mistakes but keeping them in the final piece is also a deliberate choice.
So when I get stuck at any point of the painting it can turn into a conceptual nightmare for me. I get into my own head and over think it, which always leads to sad mistakes if I force myself to paint through the block.
There are a few things I do to pull myself out of the funk of Artist's Block.
Honestly, my favorite thing to do when I'm feeling stuck is to go outside and take a walk around my neighborhood or in the park.
When you sketch you allow your brain to stay active while at the same time allowing your focus to wander and work through problems that you may have been carrying around.
Sketching is not always a "Eureka!" moment, but it never fails that when I go back to my painting after having spent some time sketching that I always see what I need to do to move forward with the artwork.
Blocked At Concept
Jolts of Artist's Block will hit me during my conceptualization process well before I ever even put paint onto the canvas!
Feeling blocked when I'm developing my theme is more common for me than getting stuck while I'm actually painting.
For my personal process and artistic style most of my work happens before I even set up my easel!
I spend a significant amount of time brainstorming and analyzing my theme before I begin painting.
To reconnect with these inspirations and begin to brainstorm new ways to go about expressing them visually I always rely on my sketchbook.
With all of these ideas flooding my brain the best thing I can do is dump them all onto paper. I just start doodling.
I let my mind sort of relax into the drawing, using whichever shapes, lines and colors that feel good in the moment.
By doing this I am allowing my brain the break it needs to work through all of my self-imposed confusion. I am also experimenting with my compositions without wasting my expensive painting materials.
Sometimes my concept comes together after sketching for only a few minutes. Once I'm focused on the sketch the ideas just start to flow out of me.
When I'm going through one of these periods where deciding to start is like moving a mountain I have to forcefully remind myself that there's nothing wrong with me.
Sometimes other aspects of my life get in the way and make everything more difficult. It doesn't mean I'm wrong, or a bad artist. It's simply a signal from my body and my brain that I need to slow down and practice some self-care.
When we are feeling lazy, or stressed, or emotionally overwhelmed it's super important to remember to be kind to ourselves. Speaking from experience, beating yourself up never helps.
I find when I'm in this situation that taking it slow is the only way forward. It is important that I make the effort, but when I'm feeling this kind of total block throwing myself head first into a big project will not end well.
That is why sketching is so important.
Artist's Block can strike at any time.
No matter which point of the creative process you are in when it hits sketching will help you get back on track.
Remember, be kind to yourself and accept that stress will take it's toll on your creativity.
Just know that a little bit of sketching everyday will help when you are feeling stuck.
As long as you have a surface to doodle on you will be able to beat the Block!
If you haven't read Part One of this series, me-myself-art-activate-your-creativity.html, check it out today! In it I share how you can use sketching to activate you creativity!
Courtney Hatcher is an abstract artist from Flint, Michigan.
Anatomy Of A Painting
Tips & Techniques