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.
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.
I’ve got ten big panels prepped and one painting finished for my upcoming show in August. I’ll be showing paintings at the West Linn Public library and I have a big space to fill. I optimistically planned on finishing three paintings a month during the next 6 months. Ha! My process is SLOW…first there is the underpainting. Next, progress with pretty colors and shapes, then a destructive phase to mess-up all the pretty. And lastly, a fix-it stage (more about my process later). Oh, and besides my process, life gets in the way too. Realistically, I’m hoping for 9 finished pieces. Wish me luck.
I love making artist’s books! I enjoy searching for all the different materials I get to incorporate into one project. Mouldmade paper from Germany, special-order cloth from New York and colorful ribbons. I went to three different stores, including a Ribbonry to find exactly the right shade of green ribbon. Figuring out how I’m going to combine all these different materials is totally engaging. And that’s why I love book arts – I lose myself in the details.