That’s the question I was asked a couple of weeks ago by an artist I had just met. I said I really didn’t have a particular process. Later my inner artist poked me and said “Uh-oh! I’m supposed to have ‘a process’!” I’m a primarily self-taught artist so when I’m asked questions like that I often answer them in a simple fashion.
But having given the question more consideration I’ve determined that I do have processes. I just don’t have the same one for every painting. The least process-oriented work I do is when I create an abstract expressionist piece. I simply gather paints (acrylics), brushes, and canvas, mat board or other substrate. Once that’s done I pick a color and begin. In these paintings I simply let my subconscious take over and wait for the finished product to ‘appear’. Similarly, when I create abstract or mixed media pieces on glass all I really decide on (and oftentimes not until I begin) is the color scheme
However, when it comes to traditional, representational works I used to always begin by painting my canvas with Yellow Ochre and ‘draw’ the composition out by either removing or adding additional paint to the canvas. Doing the painting this way allowed me to work out perspective and problem areas up front before I even began with the first color. I still do paintings this way but now I don’t always start with simple Yellow Ochre. So part of my process is under painting.
Over the past few years I’ve begun, for some paintings, to begin with sketches as studies. This also allows for even more experience with the subject matter before the painting is started.
It was a thought provoking question and I’m thankful for the prompting to give it some serious consideration. The next time I’m asked this question I’ll invite my questioner if they have time for a cup of coffee or tea. It takes longer to explain that I don’t have only one process. Or perhaps I’ll send them to this piece to read.
If you want to see the final outcomes of these paintings they can be found on my website at http://leasartwork.artistwebsites.com.
The titles in order from top to bottom:
1) Letting Go 2) Hello Dali 3) At the Drop of a Hat 4) Granny’s Gifts 5) Blue Reflections 6) All In A Row