Painting Ideas & Inspiration for January

January is a great month to paint words to inspire our new year, comfort foods for the cold days and memories of the special places we visited in the past year. This January, let’s paint:

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Cups of coffee (because it’s freezing out and I need to warm up)
  • Paris!

January is a good time of year to dream a bit on where you’d like to go with art this year. Do you want to paint weekly or seasonally, by yourself or with a group. (or maybe a little of everything?) Check out ideas for a painting plan on this post.

What to Paint in January

Inspirational quotes are fun and well…inspiring. Feeling a bit sluggish in setting goals and getting going this year. I’m going through the motions and am waiting for those feelings to catch up! So painting some fun and thoughtful words is encouraging. Plus, they’ll be fun to include in snail mail!

Coffee because…it’s cold and rainy. Coffee and tea are both comforting on any day, but during the winter months they are especially delightful.

Cups are wonderful ways to practice perspective and shapes. It can be hard to get everything just so and look ‘real.’

Since my trip last fall, I’m falling in love with Paris more and more. Someone gave me a few books on walks in Paris and markets in Paris and those books have lit a fire under an already burning heart for the City of Lights. I’ve been sharing some of the small paintings on Instagram.

For me, it’s Paris but you may have your own favorite vacation place or special city. Have you ever tried to paint those memories?

One of the fun things about Paris is the iconic Eiffel Tower. It’s an impressive architectural masterpiece. Drawing it and putting my own spin on the colors and moods is a lot of fun!

I decided to let go of attempting to be terribly realistic and instead capture the impression of the building along with all the colors I associated with the trip.

For example, the café culture of Paris (and Europe in general) is endearing. What fun to linger over a potent cup of coffee and people watch! This piece is in progress, it’s very impressionistic and honestly, darker than I thought it would be. I added in the Eiffel Tower to give it the essential Parisian feel.

As you can see, it’s messy. It’s pretty loose (at least for me). Don’t be afraid to play with your monthly practice! If I decide I can’t stand it, all I have to do is paint over it (or repurpose it if it’s a watercolour piece).

Feel free to mix ideas and images, pictures and paint to create your own memory of a vacation, home or memory from the previous year. It makes the memory come alive which is even more fun.

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