If you want to increase your freedom in painting, sometimes it’s useful to designate a specific painting as the official “junk” painting. The junk painting is one that doesn’t matter. It’s the canvas upon which any liberties at all can be taken. You can use cheap materials, you can paint in poor light, you can have a headache, you can change your mind as many times as you want. Expend the last dregs of your palette, all the half dried and sticky mess that remains behind from your “real” painting sessions on this unfortunate canvas. The canvas you might have thrown out is wisely saved to be used with the paint you should have thrown out. And with these junky tools allow yourself to take chances, to draw freely, to rehearse any idea. Here you can be a completely free spirit.
Everything you learn you can later use in a serious painting. The junk painting can also be a way of warming up. You can get started thinking visually with great freedom on the little canvas that doesn’t matter.
The photo above is sort of like “finding Waldo.” How many versions of the picture do you see…?
If it should happen that you find yourself typically doing better in the junk art — with its expansive freedom — than in the “real” arena — with its more expensive materials and greater sense of duty and its various crippling “shoulds,” then some fine morning just switch them — only forget to tell yourself. On that fine day, use the expensive canvas and the choice paints for the “junk” picture du jour and worry yourself silly with the cheap canvas and the palette scrapings. Just don’t tell your brain about the switch! Mum’s the word ….
Top of the post: a “junk” painting in progress ….