My latest paintings are intended to inspire strength with softness. Since my art is a form of visual storytelling, I’m always looking for new ways to express this message.
I take progress photos of my paintings to help me remember where I felt like giving up, when I thought I’d made a huge mistake and when I overworked a character (these things happen in pretty much every painting).
With all of my artwork, I follow an intuitive painting process.
After a few background layers (and many attempts at the character’s eyes and face), something finally starts to come out of the paint that resonates with my soul. Then I add more and more layers to bring out that heart, using spray paint, oil paintsticks, acrylics, inks, paint pens, water soluble pencil and pastels.
This gives the painting a little more definition, but sometimes I overwork it, add too many dots or drips, so that the character starts to feel too dark and heavy.
This becomes part of the story of the painting. It’s part of my process to cover and uncover, but lately I’ve been trying to allow my final image to fill with light.
If I’ve the inclination to try a neon pink mask (that helped me bring past paintings together), I’ll swipe a big layer of ink across the eyes. But sometimes that doesn’t work out. The ink can either add depth or completely smudge the eyes and most of the features. Then I have to repaint the entire face, using what’s left of my marks as a guide.
So often these layers and happy accidents lead to my favorite paintings. When I remember this, I can be brave and paint without the pressure of everything having to be perfect, allowing me to approach my artwork with more freedom. That’s when the magic happens.
One of my favorite ways to intentionally create beautiful mistakes is to mix inks together to get unusual colors that I then repeat throughout a painting collection. This is a project in my online art class SERENDIPITY 2 – Learn To Let Go.
In this video preview you’ll see how I create my initial background using acrylic inks and paints, allows happy accidents that then inspire the rest of my painting.
If you’re looking to paint more freely and make your paintings look more organic, don’t cover everything up in your painting. Instead, when you don’t like something, add a thin layer of oil painstick on top to redefine your painting, but keep the underneath layers showing through.