Studio Practice

Studio Practice – This Week/Month


Studio Practice – So what has been happening in the last month.  

  • What is studio practice?
  • How has my studio practice developed?
  • What has it been impacted by?


The Rose Page – became a place to write about my take on flowers in my art work.


Studio Practice involves many different elements. One of the things that’s involved is the organisation of your business. There are so many facets that have to be managed. It’s not as simple as just finding a picture, painting it and out the door it goes. Rather one needs to have somewhat of a plan a painter you need to have a cohesive body of work. This means you cannot really just paint any old thing and it will be ok. So this is where it comes to planning I need to think about what direction my art’s going in.

  • The plan can be loose – I’m going to paint flowers for the next 6 months
  • What aspects do I want to look at that relate to flowers?
  • Are they just going to be pretty pictures or is there a deeper meaning threading through my work?
  • What size will they be?
  • Am I going to choose similar colors for them all?

These are just a few of the questions I might ask myself at the beginning of a new series of work.

My studio practice has developed in the last 3 months, in the following way. Journaling has become the bedrock of my art practice.  Because I enjoy it so much I am keen to work on business elements in a way that I never have before and I have found that paying attention to this side of the business is making a big difference to my organization and I’m therefore getting more things done and being more creatively inspired as I go.

In the last month I’ve got work into four new exhibition spaces, two on-line and two off-line.  One of my New Year’s goals was to have work in at least 3 new online galleries.  So stuff is getting done! Which is awesome.

It has been impacted by: The last month, school holidays, as I tried to juggle quiet time and painting time with having my granddaughter at home 24/7 for 6 weeks.   It’s difficult to give everything the attention it deserves.


This Weeks Question: What elements form the basis of your creative practice?

Look For Next Week’s PostWho are your mavens?

News From The Studio

So, back at the coal face again. This week’s news from the studio is that I have a couple of paintings on the go at the moment, as well as several ideas floating around in my head of course.  It’s too soon to share the whole image, however I have a detail shot for you of the next Mythic Journey painting and a new study that I’ve been working on.

So here’s the Mythic Journey III Detail

News From The Studio,Mythic Journey III Detail

Mythic Journey III Detail


As you can probably gather from this little snippet, the journey has taken me into a much lighter space, filled with light and joy.

Below you will find a much smaller painting – only 24″ x 22″  which is part of the same series.  I did this little study as a precursor to a larger work, to try out some ideas I have for the bigger piece.

News From the studio - Study 1

Study I

I have used some different techniques in this work, underpainting in acrylics before layering on top with the oils..  The concept of layering and hidden things has always intrigued me.  Following this idea, in this work, I have done a more detailed underpainting in the small pale section that you see.  A painter who has inspired me a lot in this regard is Barbara Rogers.

Her work often has many layers to it and she includes decorative and botanical detail within the work, which I really like. She also has a book published of her work called ‘The Imperative of Beauty’.  See one of her works below.


If you want to buy her book there is a link here for it.

This Weeks Question: What studio practice have you in place that holds you to keeping your work focused and progressing?

Look For Next Thursday’s Post: The Painting is done!!




Using Mirrors In Painting

Using mirrors can be a very useful tool to apply your looking skills. How is it done?

The first thing you need to do is to set up a large mirror behind you in your working space.

The second thing is to turn around frequently as you work and look at the work in the mirror.  I would have to say this is the single most useful tool that I continue to use on a daily basis.

I use this technique  frequently as I paint.  Using mirrors serves two main purposes.

Firstly it helps me to see what is wrong with what I’m drawing or painting.  Why is this? Well, looking in a mirror means you are seeing the work from a reversed perspective and also at a greater distance away from the work than you would normally view it. This is particularly important when you only have a relatively small studio like mine is at the moment. Below you can see my studio.  I have taken the picture standing at my easel and looking into the mirror.  The chair is situated where I can  sit and look at the work as it progresses.

Using Mirrors - My studio and Mirror

My studio and Mirror

Secondly, because of what is happening in our brains as we do this, our left brain tends to overload and shut down, allowing the more creative right brain to shine forth and offer us  a more insightful perspective into what we are looking at.

My motto is ‘When in doubt – Get your Mirror Out!’

Look At Things From A Different Perspective

This is another handy trick you can also use when you are stuck.

Turn your painting round – upside down first and then if you are still having difficulties, look at it sideways from both sides. In my experience this can make a huge difference to a painting.  In one instance it was the difference between a painting being finished or not!

Look at the difference in this painting.

using mirrors - a different perspective

Original way painting was painted

What I discovered on turning it around…..

using mirrors - a different perspective

Turing the painting – a different perspective


To read the story of how this work evolved take a look at my previous post.

You could also say that looking at something in a mirror is looking from a different perspective, which of course it is.

Also falling into this category would be viewing things through a magnifying glass.  This expands the view of something while narrowing it at the same time.

Sometimes if you are experiencing difficulty in drawing something up, and you are working from a photo, turn the photo and your work upside down as well.  This can really change your mindset.

The final tip here is to STAND BACK!

Get back from your work. This is especially important when you don’t have a mirror.

This Week’s Question: Do you have a mirror set up in your studio yet and if not when will you get one by?

Look For Thursday’s Post: Two more paintings – ‘Satin Sands’ & ‘Into The Light’

Next Monday’s Post: How relevant is creativity?

Posted by : Kadira Jennings

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