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Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Norfolk Painting School Course Director Martin Kinnear on how your best ever painting is one you are already working on.

Piper, our most inspiring class of 2020? You decide.

As January draws to a close I've been looking back at what we've been up to in our StudioTalk community and Masterclass sessions; gosh what a month!

Still Life for people who don't do drawing, Colourfield Abstraction for people who don't do colour, portraits for people who don't do portraits, skies for, you guessed it, people who don't paint skies and that amazing Eardley inspired landscape for people who can't seem to get away detail!

Along the way we've done in depth Masterclasses on Turner's optical glazes, Eardley's expressive brushwork, mixing up media to quickly create the illusion of detail with close interest and Monet's astonishing use of colour.

The Secret Lesson

That's just the first month of the year, and if all of that inspiring painting seems like a lot, it was intended to be.

The hidden lesson behind all of the demonstrations we've done is this : the best way to create great paintings is to constantly create any painting.

Picasso that most creative of artists knew that Inspiration won't come from doing nothing, but will often strike when you have a brush in your hand: so keep painting.

A busy studio is an inspirational place

In my own studio work I've been applying things I've loved about the demos and giving existing paintings a huge creative boost. It's a really great idea to transfer Monet's inspiring use of colour to something he never painted, the fusion of his ideas and yours can be truly surprising and powerful .

Your work on Facebook has been absolutely inspiring and amazing and after every single project we've seen artists finding their feet and their way by trying new things, but I know that each and every one of us (including me), can get more from trying the ideas on existing works and letting inspiration strike!

To get you going, here is a quick list of our key ideas from January. Try them on your works and invite that inspiration in.

Reduce the number colours you use to increase colour impact
Working around Red was a strong lesson

If you use too much or too many colours and want more guidance on creating simpler but stronger paintings then check out my Towards Abstraction Masterclass here

Lose Edges to manage complex compositions
Remembering to loosen up was a great session

If you find yourself drawing and colouring in rather than pushing paint around and having expressive fun then check out my Kokoschka Masterclass here

Use a tonal palette to make complex subjects easy
Looked complex but you found that it was very easy !

If you mastered Seago's tonal style and want to learn it all check out my Classical Skies masterclass here

Replace painting detail with creating close interest

Mixed Media helped you to manage detail

If you want to learn more about creating pattern which works with detail and close interest then check out our Masterclass on Klimt here

Missed Out?

StudioTalk changes each and every week, so while you've missed these great projects we have 50 more to enjoy each and every year. Plus StudioTalk community members can show their paintings and swap inspirational ideas each and every day. You can join StudioTalk from just £2.50 a week; less than a decent morning coffee for priceless inspiration, here

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Jill Craig
Jill Craig
Jan 29, 2021

So encouraging as always Martin. I feel we are all gaining in confidence to try expressing more within our paintings and increasing our understanding of colour. I think there must be hundreds of paintings throughout the country that have been produced because of your unending enthusiasm, inspiration and guidance. Long live NPS. Thank you Martin.


Martin continues to be an inspiration to us all. I look forward to the varied classes and topics finding new ways to express emotions and thoughts in paint. Thank you.


Anthony Garland
Anthony Garland
Jan 29, 2021

Thanks Martin

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