Loving Too Much

I frequently experience artistic paralysis. But it’s not because I don’t know what to do, or I don’t know what I like. I’ll begin to paint spontaneously, leaping into the water and swim, only to get lost about where I’m going and why.This has been confusing me — I love too many things, and they all crowd into my mind at once.

So here’s a list of things I love in a painting:


  • Moody, misty landscapes
  • Weather
  • Smoky, cloudy, nocturnes
  • Atmospheric space like Rothko
  • Hubble telescope nebulas
  • Reflections


  • A single line, border or edge
  • Glowing edges on the cusp of darkness
  • Dendritic patterns like veins, trees, rivers
  • Strong bone-like forms – Motherwell, Franz Kline
  • Natural forms from plants, animals and the sea
  • Patterns from Pacific NW, Oceania, Pacific Islands


  • Jewel-like transparent color
  • Subtle warm and cool greys made from multiple pigments
  • Ancient earth pigments, ochre, sienna, oxides
  • Deep dark ‘iron’ blue, cold cobalt, ice teal, blue-grey-green


  • Fresh first marks
  • Charcoal and graphite marks
  • Marks like cave art
  • Printed objects


  • Canvas showing through
  • Troweled paint
  • Thick paint brushed in linear patterns
  • Deeply textured surfaces where crevices hold color
  • Sheer dripping veils of paint
  • Peeling or worn paint
  • Juicy garden of brushwork like Joan Mitchell

It’s too much!

All this abundant beauty and potential are swirling around me. It’s like a lifetime of painting that I want to happen all at once. How do I choose a direction to develop?

three new panels started last week

1 thought on “Loving Too Much

  1. Jennifer Williams September 8, 2021 — 11:45 am

    Sweet Patrise, think of painting like taking a walk. You may want to see the whole world, but you know you’re not going to on a single walk. Let each canvas be a single journey and know that the next canvas will be waiting for a new adventure.



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