Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. I find it really difficult to focus on more than one thing these days, and what I’ve been focusing on is producing art…not so much talking about it or blogging or anything else really. The upside of that is that I’m learning a ton and having lots of fun. The downside of that is that I end up neglecting this space and every other space. (If you saw my house right now you would assume that someone broke in and ransacked the place.) To make up for this terrible neglect I am about to post something that I’ve never posted before: a complete and detailed beginning to ending process for a painting. So without further ado…
OK, granted this is the most horrible photo ever, but it gives you a good idea of where I began. I used acrylic inks and a spray bottle to put down the first layer of color and line. Nothing special, but I’m on my way.
Basically I waited for the first layer to dry and added more acrylic ink focusing on warmer colors. Much more interesting, but we’re still just in the preliminary stages. I’m not really thinking about much and I certainly don’t have an outcome in mind. Just making marks.
Just a few more grungy marks. Not much of a difference, but here’s a few close-ups so you can see more detail:
As you can see, I’m still just playing around with no real plan. And the next step is where it starts to get scary for me.
Gah! I wrecked it! (This is the voice in my brain. I do my best to just remain calm and trust the process.)
Shit! It’s just getting worse! (More of me ignoring my brain.)
Here’s where things start to take shape. I got the image of a little Haitian girl. First I sketched her and then I roughed her in on the painting. Up until now I’ve mostly used acrylic ink, but now I’m using heavier body paint as well. My brain is getting quieter now. Thank God. It was getting a little annoying.
The final layers were just a matter of filling in with heavy body acrylics. I used warm colors for the highlights and cooler colors for places that I wanted to recede. I love intense color. It makes me feel alive. I was up until 2:00am working on the final touches, and I have to say, I love this little beauty.
A friend saw the initial sneak peek I posted online and she commented in Haitian Kreyol: “Li bel” which means “She’s beautiful.” So that’s what I titled the piece. Li Bel. This canvas is 24×30 inches in case you’re wondering. I’ll probably have her framed and maybe see about selling her, although pieces like this are kind of hard to part with.
Hope you enjoyed this window into my process. Those middle stages where my brain is going crazy? Sometimes it helps to remember that this is a part of every painting. It helps to know that I just have to keep painting and everything will be just fine.