February 08, 2022 – The Old Adage: Start Many Paintings, Sometimes Results in Finishing Lots of Paintings! Three!

3 paintings finished same day ©Felipe Adan Lerma – New Hat, Titan Green Pale Impressionist Abstract 1, Burnt Sienna Impressionist Abstract 1 : Feb 2022

I’ve come across many varied and sometimes surprising mentions of the value of starting many paintings —

  • let my inspiration sing!! ie, pour out as it appears and thus not lose the beginning of an idea
  • release the pressure to perfect and finish any one work & get stuck
  • allow time for paint to dry
  • allow my eyes to have time to see a started work new
  • give a paintings in a series time to evolve together creating cohesiveness
  • let paintings in a series begin to influence each other with newly discovered “goodies” in any one work
  • give a series a better chance of evolving to a finish
  • not let myself get bogged down or discourage about any one work – it can sit, and wait for my creative self to be ready for it when I sense the need or answer how to evolve or finish it
  • Plus, contributed by Aprille in the comments – “One more I’d add for myself personally is that having multiple pieces on the go eliminates that inertia I struggle with when I find myself between paintings” — good one, esp when “looking” for something to dab on when short on time or, as Aprille says, looking for a way out of one’s inertia, one of the 2 constant forces in our universe it seems, lol!

Other ideas I’ve read are also along the one or more of the above ideas, one of which, not letting any one work become what several writers / artists have called, a work too “precious” to let rest, then over-working it, took me until very recently to get a beginning handle on.

But one idea I haven’t read much of, as a benefit of beginning many works and working them as them appeal or draw me back to them, is that it’s fun 😊

I can flit from one work to another, one style of works to different style, begin something entirely new, and am finding it usually will also either fit into an existing series, or look very good for the start of a brand new series. Eventually of course finally finishing some paintings, lol!

How and why I feel these 3 are complete, is my surer and surer feeling I want ( need? ) my work to be interesting both from a mid to far distance, and up-close. All three have been great to explore up close, right from the first pass throughs. Getting them attractive mid to far distance, that’s taken me some doing! But definitely becoming part of the fun!

Above, the two color field abstract panoramas are already part of a series, including two works I recently had accepted at a show at Art for the People Gallery here in Austin.

The other, the vertical figure work, New Hat, though one of many figure works I’ve explored and painted just the last few years, could well represent one of those latter new ideas benefitting from starting lots of new works – beginning a new series.

New how?

New Hat does combine an acrylic background with a watercolor figure; plus a large-in-the-frame figure with a varied abstracted background, but what is new is how extensively the figure is literally shaped with molding paste. How exactly this may evolve I’m not sure yet – but I definitely want to find out 😊 ❤️


Meanwhile, here in Austin, we’re hoping to have drinkable water sooner rather than later this week, even with the hot water at our place being turned off mid-week for a boiler repair, lol!

Stay well everyone! 🙏


ps – as mentioned, the 3 paintings presented top of the post are finally finished – I plan separate posts for each as I get better shots of them, with some along-the-way progress pics to show how they changed; plus, no surprise, I have several more of the panoramic color field textured abstracts also in-progress; and at least two more large-in-frame figure works against an abstract background, though the backgrounds are quite different each-to-each right now; we’ll see which abstract style background might morph into a series type of its own ☺️ 👩‍🎨 🎨

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Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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    • I think you’d love experimenting with it, Margaret! There’s reg & light; the light to me is easier to use, either alone or blended into paint. My fav so far is from Goldens — https://amzn.to/34L04Pm ; I have several sizes, incl the gallon bucket, but the small size is “very” easy to use, and refill from a larger more economical size if you decide it’s something you really like 😊


  1. Lovely pieces,Felipe and I am going to print your list of reasons for starting multiple paintings. One more I’d add for myself personally is that having multiple pieces on the go eliminates that inertia I struggle with when I find myself between paintings.
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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