Sunday, June 6, 2010

Creative Process - Focus on the painting - not the mess

Matisse - Red Interior

I walked into my kitchen this morning to make coffee and looked in shock at the dishes that need to be washed. It is wise to note I am blogging instead of washing them. Chaos seems to move in cycles through my life. It so often seems to accompany a creative frenzy.

I am in one of those happy dances with my muse at the moment and spending extended time in the studio. But even when not in the studio my mind is there. I can walk back and forth to the kitchen for another glass of sun tea and not notice anything amiss unless I am unable to find a clean glass for the tea.

And even as I sit here and blog I am staring at the canvases I am working on. It would be hard to explain the mental process that is employed when I paint. When I write I don't do an outline but some subconscious plotting happens when I am away from the writing surface. I seldom do preliminary color sketches with my paintings. But when I am sketching in pencil I am obviously thinking in colors because I will add divisions to separate blogs of colors with another. Ergo the sketch of Delicate Arch, which I am currently painting, is not exactly what you would see through the lens of a camera.

I actually only do "studies" where a commission is involved or a very large canvas or entirely new subject. Even then there is a point in most paintings that the painting seems to take over and dictate the direction it will take. It is a happy point because it seems to generate energy which translates to the image on the canvas. And hopefully to the viewer of the finished painting.

Well, enough of this. Time to paint.


  1. Interesting... I remember a few months ago you posted about doing a study for a large commission piece you were working on.. and i thought... uh oh.. another thing i'm not doing right. I just squirt paint on the canvas and get going. Shewwwwwwww... i feel better!

    Now lemme see if I can find a clean cup for my coffee...

  2. I sometimes try to do "studies" for paintings, but the "studies" develop a life of their own and become paintings in their own right...

  3. I will admit to that too, Nicholas. I did two studies for the large commission to give him a choice of direction and also to avoid a lot of changes on the big painting.

    Both studies will be framed for the upcoming show.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.