There are these creative openings that happen for you while you paint intuitively. You can’t plan them or predict them but they happen.

acrylic painting closeup in santa fe

Sometimes it’s because you change paint colors, or you find your playful self momentarily, sometimes it’s because of a new tool—like a different size paintbrush or sponge.

Recently I have noticed people in my workshops playing with masking tape and having an outrageous time of it.

You can play with masking tape as a way of creating a surprise for yourself later:  “What will it look like later in my painting process if I then take the tape off?  Let’s try it and see.”

painting with acrylics in santa fe

You can put it on the original canvas, which in my studio is usually black, or you can put the tape onto your painting later in your process as a way of creating different paint layers as you work.

creativity workshop painting in santa fe

One thing is for sure, when one person in a workshop begins playing with the tape, often many others follow. It is contagious.

What I see are some of the gifts of playing with the tape while you paint: 

  • It feels like play and opens you up to materials in a new way.  You might then find yourself finger painting or playing with palette knives.
  • It creates a surprise element later when you pull it off.
  • It if you’re feeling a bit serious or controlling, it can often unblock your process by trying something new.
  • It creates layers in paint.
  • It can create a repeating pattern that you might enjoy.
  • You can write words in tape and reveal them later if you like, bringing a poem or partial poem in.

There are many ways to open up your painting process to play and discovery: masking tape is one of them.

My approach is not to teach a method but instead to seed the studio space with this courageous spirit of possibility all the while giving focused individual attention to those feeling stuck or ready to breakthrough in some way.

What might you do with paint, brush or tape I wonder? What would it be like for you paint in a space of freedom and permission, with your own creative coach nearby?