Speed Painting!

One of my favorite things is to have a Speed Painting party with some good friends. It doesn’t matter whether your friends have ever painted in their lives – they will still enjoy the experience.

Because it’s not about how “good” your painting is. It’s about letting yourself paint free, by forcing your mind out of the way. How do you do that? By not giving yourselves time to think.

I get some good friends round, put on some music, lay out some appetizers and give each person a canvas and tools, paint, etc. The only rule is: You have to FINISH your painting tonight (about 3 hours).

So there is no time to think about what to paint, or sketch it out, or agonize over this and that, you just have to GO. And there’s no expectations, because you’re all just jumping off the cliff together. You can paint feelings, or colors, or movement, or an idea.

A good trick to get everyone going is the have each person pick two numbers, between 1 and 100. Then I have a list of 100 words or phrases. I look up the numbers the person chose, to see which words they correspond with.

So let’s say you chose: 19 and 94. Your two phrases would be: Isolation AND Love Again. You now have to do a painting that is your expression of those two words. GO!

Sometimes you hate what you come up with – but someone else may love it. Other times you invent an awesome technique – because out of the looseness comes innovation. I’ll also challenge myself to paint with colors I would not normally use. That’s what happened with this speed painting, I thought, “What colors would my daughter like?” and painted with those.


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