Playtime With Oriental Red

by Kathleen Huebener in Art Inspires Art

A patterned canvas stares you in the face and you shudder thinking the words, “What’s next? What is the next step? Where do I go from here? I am blank with no ideas! “

If an ominous artist block is keeping you from seeing ahead, then I say to you…


Kicking that artist block with few simple tricks from your art studio drawers is easy.

Now is the time to search out what will ring that creativity bell in you!

Do not fear; Art Stash is here!

Looking in my art drawers, I find a few strips of black and blue to lay on Oriental Red. Cut straight from mat boards, these strips have been used repeatedly in many other art projects. You probably guessed that already by the paint spots decorating them. All the items in my art drawers are worth their weight in gold because they spark possible ideas.

To this pile of goodies, I add chopsticks and a waft of white cotton representing something white. At this point, because I am just thinking of composition and not details,
I have not a clue what the white thing may be. It is just a white object at this point.


I begin to arrange the items on Oriental Red.

Parts of this composition interest me, but a question arises,
“What if I change the color of the strips while rearranging the other items? “
I notice that the blue strip is pulling out the blue in the pattern.
That is pleasing.
If I change both strips into blue, would it be too much blue?
Perhaps if the two strips would be different values might help.

Noticing the yellow pop out in the pattern, I substituted a yellow form for the white object. Here I am figuring what color would fit best: white or yellow.

The yellow doesn’t exactly match the yellow in the pattern, but it will give me a good idea of the effect of a yellow object opposite the blue strips.
I decide to clear the board with a new look.
Still playing, I exchange the blue strips to one red one and add white rods.

And the search goes on.

I will keep playing until I find the perfect composition.
There is no stress, just a child-like curiosity with that “What if…”
I know I will find something I like – eventually.
I am having fun at the same time! Yippee!
If that ol’ artist block comes around your way to bother you,
do not fear; just check out your art stash (all artists have them) and play.

Try different approaches; there is no stress involved.

You will enjoy the freedom this gives you.

It is called “Playtime.“