Find inspiration for an abstract painting

Abstract painting can be quite confusing when it comes to coming up with ideas.

Unlike figurative painting, abstract painting requires a great deal of imagination.

Before talking about my method for finding inspiration for abstract painting, I recommend that you discover my article in which I give you 4 tips for being creative.


Problems finding inspiration when painting abstract art

Finding inspiration when painting abstract can be a perilous mission!

Inspiration: Abstract painting VS Figurative painting.

Indeed, when you practice figurative painting, you will in theory base your work on a model in most cases. So you’re going to reproduce your subject, and so you have concrete things to reproduce. (Mind you, I’m not at all saying that figurative painting is a faithful “photographic” reproduction of the subject, and that it doesn’t require immagination).

Abstract painting is a different kettle of fish! You’ll need to create a universe from scratch: an abstract context.

So it’s going to take some real research, and you’re clearly going to have to find inspiration and be creative.


My method for finding inspiration

Over the years, I’ve produced several hundred abstract acrylic paintings and experimented with different techniques to find inspiration. Certain techniques that work with many artists have not been at all conclusive in my case. So you’ll understand that the method I’m going to present here may not be of any help to you.

So I’ve simply tried to bring together and compare the different situations that, in my case, led me to ideas and inspiration.

In my case, there’s a rather astonishing phenomenon that I’ve noticed on several occasions: inspiration arrives when you least expect it.

To give you just a few examples. Inspiration and creative ideas come to me in the most unlikely of moments:

  • At the end of a meal, looking at the spoon marks on my dessert plate.
  • During a hot shower
  • Or more simply, during a walk in the great outdoors

And it’s this last point that I’m going to develop next.


I don’t provoke inspiration

We often make the mistake of trying to provoke this phenomenon, and seek inspiration on command. I think this is a mistake.

Indeed, I’m sure you’re looking for inspiration once you’re standing in front of your blank canvas with brush in hand. If this is the case, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal! It’s the kind of thing I’ve often done and still find myself doing sometimes!

As I said earlier, inspiration can strike at any moment! It’s when you’re in a relaxed, non-anxious state of mind that your best ideas come to life.


Nature, a wonderful source of inspiration

First of all, I strongly advise you to watch the video associated with this article to see the example I’m about to present.

With practice, I’ve discovered that a walk in nature is the perfect way to find inspiration.

A non-anxious climate, conducive to inspiration

Find yourself a quiet, peaceful place where you’re sure you won’t be disturbed. A good nature walk is one way of doing this.

This context allows you to relax, let go and leave all your worries far behind!

This will clearly condition you to receive ideas and give you every chance of finding inspiration.

Nature, an inexhaustible source of ideas

The second advantage is that nature provides an inexhaustible supply of elements that you can use to create your next painting.

We often miss these things because we don’t pay enough attention to them. But if you take a tree, for example, and analyze one leaf of that tree, then all the elements that make up that leaf. Then you’ll realize that “everything” is there!

Look at the sheets above. There’s so much in it:

  • Superb shapes
  • Perfect color harmony
  • Light! Light is so important…

Starting from these elements, you can clearly create a new abstract painting. The question is whether you’re going to reproduce part of the sheet fairly faithfully, or whether you’re just going to take inspiration from a few shapes or colors.


Don’t make the mistake of “copying” a table

When you’re just starting out, lack experience and want to get results straight away. It’s possible to be tempted to “copy”, or at any rate be greatly inspired by, a painting by another artist.

It’s something I wouldn’t recommend.

I’m not blaming you, I was the first to be greatly inspired by other artists’ abstract paintings in order to perfect my learning, but it’s something I quickly stopped doing.

In itself, copying is not legal, it is not respectful and it is not possible to put yourself in the same state of mind as the artist at the time of his creation…

Of course, it’s much harder to imagine and easily demonstrate your creativity, but it’s the healthiest, most effective way to find and develop your own style.


To conclude

In short, don’t try to find inspiration at the last minute, sitting in front of your blank canvas. Listen to your senses: inspiration can come at any time, and you owe it to yourself to be attentive to it.

Choose a calm, non-anxious, inspiring environment. This will provide you with an inexhaustible supply of ideas for your paintings.

And last but not least, don’t copy! It’s not a solution in itself, and it’s clearly not going to help you develop your ability to be creative and inspired.


What about you?

I’ve talked a lot about myself, but now let’s talk about you! How do you find inspiration? Thank you in advance for leaving a comment at the bottom of this page to explain all this to us!

Pack offert : Techniques, matériel & guide

Pour vous lancer dans la peinture abstraite dans de bonnes conditions, je vous offre ce pack comprenant mon guide du matériel, un cours de peinture abstraite et une avalanche de conseils !

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