Day Twenty-eight

 Themes and Prompts
Ooops - back on Day Fifteen I said we would talk about themes.  Sorry.

There are a few ways to use themes as thought starters  -  or painting starters  -  prompts. Themes can easily turn into a series.  If you're doing a series, you almost always have something in mind to paint.
  • A few years ago in the winter I did some little sketches in my journal using the alphabet. The sketches were only about two inches square.  The self-imposed criteria was that the subject had to be something real  -  something I could look at and draw.
  • Sometimes I have used a grid to set up some themes for a long weekend.  I would use ideas such as "simple pleasures", "light and shadows", "tastes", "just being here".   Art Escapes by Dory Kanter is where I read about this idea.
  • For some reason a few years ago, in the back of one of my sketchbooks, I made a list of my 100 favorite things.  The list grew, of course.  It would make a pretty good reference for painting and journaling ideas.
  • There are always the simple, quick sketches you can do in restaurants  -  the salt and pepper shakers everywhere you go, your water glass, your lunch.
  • Then there are subjects such as gates, doors, gardens, figures, every view from your porch .  .  . 
  • And the more obscure themes such as passions, random thoughts, gratitude, spiritual . . . 
  • There is always that view from a window every day for a year  -  watching the seasons change.
 The possibilities are endless.

In the next day or two, I'll explain a little more about each of these and show some examples.  Creative writers use prompts, and I think they work well for visual artists too.