Note to self

I love learning new things

And I love experimenting – my partner tells me I have a brain like a sponge, always soaking up new ideas… I hope that’s a good thing.

Lately I’ve been burning the candles at both ends. Working very long hours in the studio and really getting into a rhythm!

I’ve also been testing myself, trying to see which way enhances more creativity. Sometimes I wake in the morning and get right to work painting, not wanting to pollute my thoughts with anything ‘cerebral’. I just pick up my brushes and let my right brain have a party.

Other mornings I’ll spend time ‘chatting’ and catching up on social media before I paint; meaning I’m typing, spelling and processing with the left hemisphere of my brain. I’m not sure if it really makes an impact using one side or the other yet, but I’m keeping a record of things so I can see if it makes any difference.


Do you have a “routine”?

Do you have a certain way you approach the day that gets the creative juices going? I’m curious about other routines you might have.


ALSO… do you paint all night?

Seriously, when I worked with wood carving and painting, many ideas would come streaming into my head in the wee hours of the morning. I would get up, draw them in my sketch pad by the night stand and go back to bed. Now, I find myself combining colors at night and literally working on things in my mind, do you do this too, is it normal?


Note to self

Today I learned that if you are painting from jars of paint – always dab some petroleum jelly around the top and edges of the container BEFORE you start using them otherwise it’s a real mess and you can’t get the lids off the jars without using a dead blow hammer! So I spent over an hour fixing all my jars and lids! And I’m not 100% certain, but I believe I heard this tip about the Vaseline from Michele The’berge, thanks Michele!

paint jars lids stick unless you do this
Run a small bead of Vaseline along the top of the jar to keep the lids from sticking!

Newest painting


Adi Shakti colorful abstract painting deb breton
“Shakti” colorful abstract impasto painting.



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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. I have no creative process. i just go with whatever tickles my fancy for the day. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so some days the mind is raring to go but the body is not willing and other days it is the other way around. I do know that I am always looking at things in a creative way. How can I draw or paint that or I need to get my camera and capture that.

    Love your painting.

  2. First off Alex, sorry to hear about you having CFS, that sucks. I love your attitude, just do it whenever it tickles your fancy. HAH!!! I do the same thing, looking at things, shapes, negative space all the time – and have a folder called ‘painting ideas’ where all my photos go! So cool – thanks for letting me ‘see’ into your process!

  3. I like your experiments. It’s too bad I have little time for that because commissions and classes take a a lot.

    1. Aww, that’s too bad, or maybe that’s good!

  4. Deb, I like the bright, clean colours along with the texture. It’s almost like a painted carving

    1. Thanks Graham, it was something new for me to try! The colors are not actually THAT BRIGHT, seems I had my camera set to ‘vivid’ when last taking a sunset photo

  5. I always start a painting after meditation and have absolutely no intended outcome. I stop when a layer may need to dry, or I am move to stop for some reason I never question. Thus, a painting can take 4 or 6 hours, or 4 or 6 weeks.
    The painting you like, Flowing (thank you!) took me 12 hours to complete.

    1. oh my Lidia, you’re the second person I’ve talked to today that paints after their meditation practice!! Good to know there are so many of us ‘tuned in’ 🙂 I have a similar practice and I also smudge my room and materials before working on a piece. Sounds like we have similar work process (time frame) as well. Thank you for sharing – it really fascinates me how we all find our ‘painting mojo’!

  6. Thanks for “liking” the new painting I just posted, Deb. I really like the texture in this painting of yours and the new blues ones as well. Also thanks for this tip about using Vaseline. It’ll be a big help. I see from the paint chart and the jars that you’re a Nova Color user. It’s such fun to open up a box from them and not only get
    wonderful paints but also sensibly-designed small jars, unlike those of most other brands.

    1. Hi Rennie – I love your work! Yes, I use Nova for my bigger pieces when I’m not focused on texture, otherwise Golden and Liquitex – for the buttery heavy body texture. Nova paint is wonderful, isn’t it?! It’s like the best kept secret! I’m glad you found the Vaseline tip useful!

  7. Love the Vaseline idea! Love your combed painting! Are the lines indentions or are they raised? I have found a quitting time for art and pick up ideas at better timing each day, so as to control when to be creative and when to get needed sleep. I don’t think I have a routine, but will try to pay more attention now. I think creativity is a muscle, so the more one practices it, the more you can choose when to let it flow and when to cut it back. Good for you and your creativity folder! I have one too.

    1. Hi Ruth! The combed painting was raised, but I lost some of the peaks as it settled. IF I would have used ALL heavy bodied paints instead of a couple Nova colors (thinner) it would all have stayed raised, live and learn! You have a folder too – how neat, it’s the only way to keep track of my images, other than my sketchbooks. I am finding that my inhibitions about new ideas is less if I just start creating first thing, sometimes I play my guitar just to get some sort of cadence or rhythm going, not sure it helps the process, but it’s fun 🙂

      1. Huh? How did you get the paint raised and the lines so even? Really cool. Yeah, you can use gel too, and the paint won’t deflate. It will be the structure to hold the paint in place better. Better than heavy bodied gels too. But this look turned out just great as well! You play guitar??? We need to hear this. Even musical ramblings.

        1. Hi Ruth, I used a Princeton Catalyst brush (scraper like thing) It only has a few ridges in it, but with a little rhythm, you just start ‘combing’ out your design. As for the guitar playing, I didn’t say I played well… But, Her Royal Ziggness (Ziggy our dog) doesn’t seem to mind anymore – she used to howl – I’ve either gotten a bit better, or she has learned to tolerate my playing 🙂

          1. Oh ok, the comb made indents then. That’s what it looked like, a comb, but not sure how it gets raised. Must be an illusion. Great design! Wonderful colors.

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