The Importance of Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing over the threshold into a creative space can be daunting at times – it often takes me an hour or more to really leave the world behind and lose myself in my practice. But if I allow myself to play before tackling a painting in progress, I can enter into a joyful headspace that allows my creative energy to flow more quickly and freely. I begin all of my paintings in play mode – experimenting with collage, drawing with crayons and laying down fields of color. As I connect these random shapes and marks – a narrative slowly begins to emerge and I’m on my way.

The Evolution of a Painting

Phase One – first layers

Phase Two – adding detail

Phase Three – finished painting

Sometimes it’s hard to know when a painting is finished. In phase one of this painting I was in the beginning stages of playing with shapes – and while I really liked the story that was emerging, I felt like it needed more. In phase two I added more shapes, color and collaged elements, but the focal point of the painting got lost in the details. In phase three, I kept some of the visual interest from phase two but toned down the colors to let the story sing – the inner workings of “Henry’s Wind Machine”. My son Henry is a sailor and I often imagine him figuring out different solutions to shift the direction or amount of wind to his liking.