After my 10th Cover on Dan’s Paper’s this summer, someone called to ask about seeing more of my work. She visited the studio and liked quite a few pieces. But the one she really loved, where the colors made her feel so good, was small, just 12 x 12 inches. She needed a large piece to fit over her mantle and ideally the proportions would be just right. I completely understand, instances like this call for a commissioned painting and I am happy to create it.
I found myself standing in front of a 2.5 ft by 4ft blank spanking white canvas and about to make the first stroke. You leap, just do it. Get started and any adjustments can be made along the way. The entire process of oil painting is about restating, adjusting and completely wiping away. Every stroke, every color and shape leaves a trace of the process of making the whole painting. The painting’s history including any missteps give it heft.
I have terminal painting amnesia, I just can’t anticipate the process. I’m not pre-thinking……I paint intuitively. I know just enough to trust myself to try a bit of this color and a dollop of another and grab the brush that might work. Mostly, I just get lost in the pure pleasure of dabbing color in a way that surprises me. I have a system of sorts…..but then the real pleasure is in discovering new ways to make something beautiful. Especially on a commission, I must trust that I will deliver the best painting possible.
This painting has been a joy to create and I’m not yet done. The colors IRL (in real life) are so rich and seductive, unfortunately they don’t quite translate to the screen. The surface of an oil painting has to be appreciated in person so the layers and intricacies can be digested. The client will have a lifetime of exploration to experience once the work is up on the wall.
Until next time,