Each Painting Deserves Its Own Journey

Each Painting Deserves Its Own Journey

Each Painting Deserves Its Own Journey

To create expressive and unique art you need to accept that each piece deserves its own journey

As you may know I started offering online workshops this summer. They've been a huge hit and I've learned a lot working with other artists. One of the benefits I didn't see coming were all the great questions and comments about what they were learning. Also they help me better understand my approach to creating artwork. These are the best questions because I have to take time and reflect on my techniques in order to furnish the right answer.

Recently I received a question I thought was worth sharing. Not that the others are not it's just this one can easily benefit everyone who was in, and not in the workshop. So it's a general question with an answer that should help everyone.

The question

I have done some work this week in this new way (very exciting and a lot more fun!) but am missing some of the the look of thicker paint. Guess I'm afraid of covering almost anything up now; they look more like watercolors! Thoughts?

The answer

The painting should always determine what works and what doesn't. Each piece has its own journey and I would encourage you to allow them room to be transparent if this works for that piece. Having said that you can always start more opaque in the beginning and add transparent layers later on only if it works for that particular piece. Again, use your best judgement based on what you see, not what you want or desire. The brain always gets in the way of creating art.

More thoughts

This question hit home for a few reasons. I remember struggling when I started painting, and being influenced by the art I admired on the Internet and a preconceived vision of what my art should look like. Both of these got in the way of finding my creativity. To paint like someone else is a complete waste of my time. I had no right to paint like them. I haven't lived the same life nor do I have the connection they do with their subjects and medium.

To create art based on a preconceived vision wasn't the answer either since I had no idea on how to make that happen. It was a struggle, those days, to paint.

It took a while for it to click but I eventually discovered I couldn't force art. I was much better off painting with emotion and freedom and the heck with what it should be. This means reacting to what's in front of me. It's easy to get in a rut with what's been working lately in the studio. But what worked for previous pieces doesn't often translate to what's best for the one in front of you.

Once I allowed the art to flow naturally and not get in the way I could then use my creative instincts and techniques to sculpt the painting in it's own unique way.