After taking an online class that really helped me think about how I’m using color and composition (and all the elements that contribute to a compelling composition), I’ve started doing nightly collages. This allows me to practice the surprisingly difficult exercise of creating compelling pieces (define that as you will) with some movement, but also a clear focal point. It’s not easy, but I take a lot of inspiration from Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park Series (an example of which is directly below).
The idea is to spend less time mixing paint (and definitely not trying to mix in the moment), because that eats up a lot of mental bandwidth, but rather to do my best to take existing paint swatches and build a composition that holds together. I won’t say they’re always successful, but there’s almost always a passage or two that interest me. And occasionally I stumble blindly onto something that works! What follows is just two nights’ worth of work. It seems like a great way to “paint” at a more meta level and try to improve my eye.