This has been the busiest time of my life and I really miss painting.
Homeschooling my children still takes most of my day and is the most important and wonderful job I have now. I also have a few other projects I have been enjoying. But I am ready to start painting again.
So how do you pick up a brush and paint when it's been a while? It sounds like such an simple thing, but that fresh white paper can be a very intimidating object.
I start with little sketches. Sketches are pure joy because it just doesn't matter what happens. They're a time to experiment, to explore, to enjoy the flow of the paint and the feel of your brush in your hand.
Skies are a wonderful thing to sketch and the best painting warm up I know. Most days, most places a wonderful sky is right above your head. The glory of sunrises and sunsets happen every day. And oh, the drama of storm clouds on the horizon!
You can choose whether to include the landscape or simply leave it out. I definitely advise leaving it out to start. That simplifies things greatly. I do very little sky sketches, usually 5" x 7" at most. Sky sketches teach balance and color and composition. They tell you what to keep and what to leave out.
There have been so many times in my life I couldn't paint. No time, other things that need to be done, other things I want to do, injuries... These things happen to everyone and stop you from doing things you love doing. But once you realize this cycle has happened a few times, you know life sometimes makes you pause things you love. When life calms, you start again.
It doesn't matter if a sketch is good or bad. It only matters that you do it, that you're taking a step toward painting.
And with that sketch, you have the joy of being able to pick up a brush and paint your world.