Getting in “The Zone”

Those of us who paint are familiar with “the zone”. That place where it’s easy to get  lost in the world of your painting, a place with a repetitive cadence; look, mix, apply, evaluate …and again. A place where hours melt by, while the world outside pulses with turmoil, your’s swirls with texture, color and emotion. It’s such a great place to be but it can be very hard to get there.

Sometimes stopping everyday tasks to go in and actually paint can be like walking on the stage of a Balanchine Ballet mid number and being in the flow, it’s  a hard transition.

Here are some things I do to ease myself into “the Zone”-


If I haven’t actually begun the painting yet, I’ll pull out my paper and pencil (always in the ready position), and do a drawing of the subject. There are fewer things to deal with in a drawing, no color, no paint to scrape off, just exploring with a pencil, taking my time, what’s the rush, this is part of my painting time. Soon something magic will happen and the subject has turned into art, a thing that’s one step closer to a painting. Taping it to the wall by my canvas helps me to see there are more possibilities than the obvious.

Lay the paints out on the palette…too many options….where do I start? Sometimes a one color block in gets the thing on the canvas, giving a sense of how it takes up space, the movement of it all. SteppingBloglr

Than the paint, I like to give myself suggestions, a sort of menu of what might look appetizing. With a knife I mix two colors on my palette, and another, what about those two? Getting ten to twelve colors in the same value range, usually the mid value range and things start to get exciting.

Just put something down. There is one of two things that will happen, you’ll hit the mark and have something to take off from or it’s the wrong thing, so now you know what the right thing is cause that wasn’t it! Forget about anyones expectations but your own and enjoy the process –

Stepping Out by Diane Eugster
Stepping Out by Diane Eugster

4 Replies to “Getting in “The Zone””

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