Lately I’ve been going back to painting more simply. For awhile I had been creating these very layered portraits of women with soft, realistic faces and incredible hair, using lots of art supplies and papers.
I enjoyed that their story changed and their personalities evolved with each layer, but I found with every layer, especially on their faces, they looked older.
While I still adore creating these layered paintings, I found myself longing for more simplicity and lightness.
I’d spent so much time trying to make these women look perfect, that I made everything more difficult and lost a lot of their initial spontaneity and magic.
So I went back to painting more freely. I painted owls. I painted whimsical animals. Then I went back to paint my women again… but with a lighter, more free style. I dripped inks and allowed my water-soluble pencil to bleed out, even on the eyes. I allowed my faces and features to remain imperfect and wonky. I limited my supplies and stopped using anything that felt heavy (like dark spray paints and papers).
I set aside my paintings before I felt they were finished (which made me super uncomfortable). But I finally realized those elements that come out in my sorts lines and marks when I allow myself to keep things simple (and easy) are the traits that make me and my artwork most unique.