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What Gets You in the Mood?

February 23, 2011

Mood lighting?

Soft music?

Paint fumes?

We all have little rituals throughout the day to get us ready for the task at hand. These activities put us in the frame of mind needed to tackle whatever it is that has to be done. Maybe you have a coffee and check your e-mails before you go to work in the morning. Before turning out the light to go to sleep, you wash your face, brush your teeth and read a magazine.

 These small, insignificant activities can go a long way towards your mental preparation, which also applies to the artist in the studio!

I know that I have my pre-studio ritual. One thing I like to do before beginning a painting session is to put on my painting clothes. It kind of goes without saying in a practical sense (I can get messy), but it’s like my uniform. Wearing painting clothes tells my brain that it’s time to get to work. There is a shift in mentality that accompanies getting changed for the studio.

Another little ritual I have is to peel the dried paint off my palette. Again, it sounds kind of stupid, but it’s almost a type of meditation. This is when I can let my mind wander and think about my last painting session and where I want to go next with my work.

These rituals provide the transition from work-mode, or cooking-mode, or cleaning-mode into studio-mode.

When it comes to sleeping, many people find that healthy bedtime rituals improve their sleep. Let’s apply this to art! Perhaps your rituals before you hit the studio can actually help you be a better artist!

What puts you in the mood to paint?


From → Art General

  1. I think I have 2 rituals: I prepare some coffee 😀 and put the art supplies I need in their place. This helps me to focus on what I want to do.

    • Oh yes, coffee is a good ritual! As long as you don’t dip your brushes in your cup 🙂 I’ve never done it, but I’ve come close!

  2. I never thought about this, but it’s true, we all do have rituals! In my case it’s getting my paint thinner (odorless mineral spirits or whatever) ready to be used and then look through my paint box to see which colors I want to use. And then I set up the painting area (which includes a special towel for covering the painting area—it’s a long story—I call it my “painting towel” lol). Then, last but not least, get some sort of beverage (usually a cola or something).


    • Haha, it sounds like a caffeinated beverage is an important step in getting ready to paint!

  3. christina permalink

    oh yes, coffee is a good ritual…
    non voice projects

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