5 Reasons to Paint Many Pictures at the Same Time

I work on at least four paintings during every stint in the studio. This week I worked on ten.

It means that the most studio paintings are ‘works in progress’ so today I only have one ‘almost finished’ to show you. 


Every artist works differently and for a long time I thought that most artists worked on paintings one-at-a-time. I thought I was probably doing things the wrong way.

But now I know that many artists move from painting to painting simultaneously. Sometimes the reasons are practical – if working with oils, it takes time to let a layer dry before going onto the next.


Here are 5 of my reasons:

  • I usually max out on a painting after an hour. I can’t see it objectively anymore and I need to look at it with fresh eyes.
  • I can only work on painting that inspire me. Sometimes the feeling passes. When it does, that painting gets stored away, sometimes for years, until I see something in it.
  • I can get excited about trying the new favorite colour I’m working with on another painting I spot in the studio. That’s what happened with the floral painting below on the easel. I had to stop painting the landscape and try out those greens and light ultramarine blue in the floral background.


  • It’s plain exciting walking into the studio and having the luxury of working on a variety of pieces. Sometimes my mood is ‘green’, sometimes it’s ‘red’. Like only really knowing what to wear when you get out of bed.
  • Switching up the painting style keeps life interesting. You don’t feel like eating the same meal everyday, do you? I’ve painted with a lot of thick paint this week and felt like drawing again, so I sketched these flowers with acrylic in a refillable plastic tube that’s just for that purpose.doehlermar3-17-6

The only downside I see with working on multiple paintings at the same time is that it can feel like nothing is ever going to be finished. On the other hand, as you approach the finish line, VOILA….you’re ready for an art show! (Fingers crossed!)

Here is a painting that is 95% finished. That is, unless I come across a new colour tomorrow. 😉

This is the sketch the painting is based on. I used marker and pencil. ©Flora Doehler, 2016
Untitled, 20" x 30". acrylic ©Flora Doehler, 2017
Untitled, 20″ x 30″. acrylic ©Flora Doehler, 2017

I had massive computer challenges and ongoing health problems with our sweet, senior Fluffy cat this week. We drive past the Bay of Fundy on our way to the Veterinarian. In fact, his office faces the ocean. I was reminded how soothing water can be. So for me, and for you if you need it….
here are 5 minutes of beautiful waves coming in off the Bay of Fundy one summer on Brier Island. There is nothing more soothing to the soul than the sound of waves.
Have a super week, talk to you next Friday.

10 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Paint Many Pictures at the Same Time

    1. Margaret, I don’t know why I thought I was the only one who worked this way in paint. If I loose interest in the subject I’m painting, forget it. That poor canvas will get a new coat of gesso. I’ll bet this has happened to you that you drag your gear to the scene of the unfinished painting only to ask yourself what you ever saw in it in the first place. It’s a true magic that can be fleeting, that magic of seeing. Thanks for you comments. 🙂 Paint well!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The power of this art blog for me is finding the words for why I approach art the way I do. It helps me organize my thoughts and my approach. And it feels great to hear that others, such as yourself, also resonate with those truths about life in the studio. Thanks Jan. 🙂


  1. Lovely post Flora, and you’ve made me feel better about the trove of work that is
    almost there, but not quite. Maybe what I should do is get them all out to talk to one
    another. Beautiful work. You amaze me.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara


    1. Barbara, your work inspires me, for sure. Yesterday I was feeling very panicked about the whole idea of a show and being ready. So I went to the studio in the evening and pulled out every work-in-progress that I’m including and made a little sketch of each with notes about what to do to finish. There are 20 and that freaked me out!! But I reminded myself that they are more done than not done (Except for the 2 I haven’t’ started). But you know how that goes. I just hope I can pull off a few that are as fabulous as your beautiful cloud paintings. 🙂


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