Thursday, May 19, 2016


I can't really explain where my paintings come from except that "everything goes into the pot."  Paying attention to what I resonate with leads to endless discovery and inspiration.

Sometimes when I begin a painting it seems to breathe immediately on its own with barely any assistance from me.  But some weeks ago I began a painting that took me on a long journey.  I didn't photograph the beginnings, because all my paintings start with a leap of faith, a choice of color and a belief that at some point I will find a direction to take it.  But as this one evolved and came closer to satisfying me, I documented the changes I made.

Between each of these photographs is a "studying time" which usually lasts from a day to a week.  This is when I stand back and pay close attention to the overall effect, getting clues for what needs to happen next.  It might be a color change, or the addition or subtraction of a line or form to make the composition more pleasing.  My work grows one step at a time from unfinished to that aha! moment when I feel it is successful.

Often I am immediately aware of a section that disturbs me and I know what I want to do to help it. This photo shows the basic composition that I created over the first few days.

The next photo is much more satisfying but I know it isn't complete.

This one, which was taken much later, made me feel good.  In fact, I was happy enough with it to call it finished and I put it on my web site.  I still needed to put a final coat of cold wax medium on for varnish though, and when I tried, I just couldn't.  I knew, blast it, that I still needed to tweak it before I could complete this last step.

My eyes kept landing on the little house.  I realized it just felt too whimsical.  I removed the painting from my web site and over the next few days worked in small increments to amend the area, arriving at this photograph.

More study, another few days, I conceded that despite my liking it better I had more work to do.  The whole lower portion seemed wishy washy now...

Finally, the painting felt right.  I left it alone overnight.  Joy in the morning!  I felt an instant friendship with it.  Yes, it was finished!
Voyager, 12 x 16" Oil and mixed media on cradled board

Instead of a journey, this painting was a real trek for me.  It taught me, once again, a hundred times again, to keep working until every bit of it feels right.