When Playing Yields New Ideas

Melissa Brauen Art
The most enticing part of being an artist, to me, is exploring what seems to be a never ending well of ideas. A blessing and burden all at once because we seem to have more ideas than time. I make sure to carve out time to explore and discover, and to just play.
I’ve always admired works with limited palettes and simple composition.  I also love the subtle mark making I see in some of them. Their simplicity is surprisingly difficult to achieve as I discovered in my playtime journey.
I prepped lots of large sheets of 140# watercolor paper with gesso and tore them into manageable pieces. This keeps the cost down on materials so I need not worry about waste as I play.  (I tell ya, there were a lot of really terrible things I tossed out.)  Of course I had to use some of my mono print scraps to collage into them too; it would not be ‘my work’ if I didn’t.  I even delved into some abstract work.
As I kept at it, some pieces came together nicely.  Masterpieces they are not, but I can see some potential and new directions on the horizon – which is the whole point.
Always take time to play. It’s the only way to grow, creatively and otherwise.  For artists, play gives rise to bigger and better ideas, lending authenticity and originality to new artworks.



  1. The piece we see here that you made is simply gorgeous. Regal. Reminds me of Japanese Raku fired pots and African art and…. serenity. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *