The painting above is a result of my students getting rid of the paint that is left on their palettes when the lesson is over for the day. This is a way of playing where they let go and don’t worry about the result. It seems it is hard for them to play on their own paintings, but much easier on this one. Why? First, because it is not their own painting, and second, because it will be painted over next time.

It is important to play. Last week in Art2Life Academy they launched a Playtime Challenge, where the challenge was to play. To do something out of the ordinary when in the studio. To have fun. Not to think about a painting the ordinary way, but to do something out of the box, and to do it for only half an hour. This way maybe I might find something new to develop in my paintings.

So I played, for half an hour, every day for a week.

So what did I do? And what did I find?

One of the coaches showed us how she used a wet tracing paper to create prints on another paper, which again could be used as inspiration or start off’s for a piece of work, or could be inserted as a piece of collage i a painting. So I tried this, and realised it was lots of fun and very effective.

Blue on wet tracing paper
Blue dancer

Then I tried some watercolour. Just pouring colours on the paper, letting it run and mix, and see what happened. Nice things happened. Could be the beginning of abstract watercolours.

Watercolour play
Watercolour play 2
Watercolour play with earth colours

There is so much you can do, it is all up to your imagination. Another way of loosening up is to put on some music and just let your brush or crayons go on a piece of paper in flow with the music. Here is an expression I did with soft pastels to the sound of Terje Isungset’s modern music about winter and snow.

Sounds of winter

Changing my way

Could this playing around and testing new things change my way of painting? One of the coaches at Art2Life makes very soft paintings. To me they are quiet and fluffy, as if she was painting with cotton over some darker colours. This inspired me to try to quiet down my paintings. I tried it on a throwaway board (rableplate) that was full of different colours, put on just to clean the brush. Many of the colours were very beautiful, and I felt awful when I covered them up. But you have to kill your darlings in order to move ahead. Below is the result 1 and 2, as the first needed something more to fill the large empty space.

Quiet 1
Not so quiet

You may think that I darkened the painting, but it is just a little different light in the studio when I photographed the one to the right.

My message with this blogpost is that it is important to play a little, to think; what if? and try something you are not familiar with in order to move on. I guess this is true in life as well.

Have a great week!

I would love to hear what you think about this, and how you play to make a change.


  1. Love these explorations, Toril!!

    • Thank you, Susan for the comment.

  2. Very interesting Toril, especially the watercolour paintings. Wonderfully playful. I will try to play like this one of these days. Thank you for the tip.



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