What to Paint?

Why paint? That’s a question I’ve asked myself. I have some reasons, but sitting in a room with an empty canvas has made me realize I’m not all that excited about painting whatever I can see from that room. I could paint from my mind, but that’s rather hard to pin down. So much visual art has emerged from studios over time. Yet, I find it hard to get excited about painting there, or at least, starting there.

With any hobby I try to pursue, there are those moments when I ask myself why I am pursuing it. Sometimes, motivation is far away. I find it easy to write, like I am right now. I enjoy it for its own sake. I expect that I’ll continue to dabble in paint and pastels, but there is the question of What?

As I’ve been writing this post, I starting pondering the idea of trying to paint scenes from fiction books. That might be an interesting exercise, though I’d still like to hone my skills more. What I think I want to do is to go outdoors or to different places, and to try to capture a scene. I like the idea of Impressionism, but I also would like to paint a scene I find interesting. Looking at a photograph, even my own, just isn’t the same. It being winter here, painting outdoors would be a bit challenging, so I might wait till spring when I can more easily be immersed in a scene.

I’m curious what motivates other people to paint or draw. Why do you do it?