Gregg-Irby-Fine-Art-by-Michpainting-by-julie-malone-viArt class is in full swing, and I’ve been painting.  For real.  I’m actually working on a piece right now!  After so many years of talk, it’s nice to finally walk.  Baby steps, mind you.  I’m a beginner, and experiencing that oh-so-familiar beginner feeling.  (Side note: I may be addicted to learning new things.)

Anyway, my first class was an eye opener in more ways than one.  But, my biggest surprise came when I sat down after the demo to start.  There I was staring at a blank canvas with absolutely no idea what I wanted to paint.  Ironic eh?  I’ve wanted to try painting forever, but apparently, in theory only.  I had never given any thought to the actual practice, nor had I seriously considered the point.  Maybe there is something I’d like my pieces to say…

So, I did what any desperate adult beginner art student would do when stuck in a classroom/community centre gymnasium with no clue.  I panicked.  Then, I made a conscious choice to confront my inhibition, and immediately went looking for inspiration.

Out came the IPhone, and my go-to source for all things visual, Pinterest.   I’ve been gathering images for almost a year on my Colour Cues board, so why not take a closer look at the kind of art I’ve been virtually collecting?  “Surely,” I thought to myself, “I should paint something I’d like to look at!”  

As I studied the stream of carefully curated art on my screen, patterns emerged, and my preferences became obvious. There is an underlying consistency to the painted works that attract me most.

It would seem I have an affinity for the abstract.  I’m drawn to bold vibrant colours, random organic shapes, and rich. complex layers.  I’m moved by stark contrasts – light and dark, warm and cool, saturation and extension – and I adore thick, tangible texture.

Right then and there, it was decided.  My art would start where I wanted it to end up – with something I’d actually hang on my wall!



Look carefully.  You’ll see for yourself the kind of work I’m most likely to do…

I’m not sure what any of these pieces say.  They’re open to interpretation, which for me, makes them even more appealing.

My first paint class takeaway?

Reflect on your preferred style.  Examine the elements carefully and discover the why behind.  Then, trust your hunch and just pick up the brush!

Sources:  colour /  shape / contrast / texture /


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