Friday, March 26, 2010

A Bit About the Process

A friend recently suggested that I write about the process that produces a painting. Every artist I've ever known or read about works differently so this will be about my own style. While my operation is simple, there are endless variations. Today I'll describe what I have been doing for the last month or so in my studio.

I have several stacks of semi-resolved collage paintings. These are sorted according to size and each stack has anywhere from twenty to forty layers separated by a sheet of paper, each layer a painting in several pieces almost ready to be adhered to a backing. The painting might look complete and ready but I am not. I look over each layer, adjust the manner in which the pieces are placed in relation to each other, maybe remove a piece, perhaps insert another. Then I put the whole stack aside again. This can go on for years until one day, I decide it's time to finish some. There is no rhyme or reason to this; it just happens. The determination is in place.

So I go over some of these paintings in progress, intent now on making each the best it can be. The final decisions, before mounting a work into its "engraved in stone" ultimate form are about fine tuning the color choices and proportions, but mostly about the coherence, strength and some all-important other quality which I would describe thusly: it fulfills its purpose, it measures up, it's a keeper. So I finish by adhering it to its backing and then take it to another level by adding final touches of pastel or some other medium.

I am baffled when asked about how long it takes me to make a painting because I really don't know.

The image above is Autumn Quintet ©1994, Mixed Media on Etching Paper 20 x 16" each. For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.

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