Friday, October 31, 2014

A Peek at Process

I am in studio mode again, having finished most of my teaching for the year.  Without any particular direction right now, I am just painting painting painting, putting one brush stroke in front of the other, as it were.  Working on about ten 22"x30" pieces at once (I say "working", but it's really playing, exploring, getting back into a groove).  Here are process shots on just one of the pieces:
The Blank Page on one of my new moveable walls in the studio

I rarely start with collage on pieces this size, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The first layers of paint

More paint

I began adding some drawing and dripping

More collage, more paint, more drawing, finding possible shapes

Trying out some big black lines

And a bit more graphite drawing

...uh...maybe not; let's see what happens when I cover over more of the bright stuff

And then reveal some of it

Now I have no idea where I am or where I'm going, but I sure do have a lot of possibilities, a lot to play with.

Materials and Tools:
  • 300 pound watercolor paper substrate
  • Collage papers, both hand-painted and found
  • Acrylic paints (see Favorite Materials)
  • Graphite, Pitt Pens, and watercolor crayons (ditto)
  • Brushes, palette knives, etc. (ditto)
  • A whole lot of letting go of: attachment to outcome, worrying about "wasting" materials, or any desire to be efficient with my time.
  • Curiosity, a lot of "what if?"
  • Absence of desire to "finish" or to "make it work" or "resolve"; just the question: what next?
This is like a meditation: repeatedly bringing your focus back to the process at hand, and letting go of the kinds of thoughts that get us stuck (see above).  If this one "makes it", I'll post later.  Meanwhile I can keep going, keep painting, keep lots of them in process.


  1. Don't you sometimes look at the finished piece and wish you'd stopped several steps before? I do that often, and wonder how one can tell when it's time to stop.

    1. Hi Jo. I try not to look back, only forward. If the piece is finished, it will tell me, and then I don't move forward. It may be "prettier" a few steps back, but if it wasn't finished, it HAD to move forward. Most of my paintings this size cover lots of Almost Masterpieces; but better to move forward than to get stuck worrying about "wrecking" a piece. Don't you think?

    2. That takes discipline and practice to "move forward". I am ore like Jo…I hesitate.
      "Is this done?" It's really hard to take that next step when you do that.

    3. I really appreciate looking at the two words prettier and finished in the context of moving forward in the process. Letting go of the prettier stage in our eye when the journey is moving forward through the process.

  2. Oh a big sigh, I think I'm missing out on an essential ingredient . . . some of the 'letting go' is missing. This morning I found a scap of peper with a quote from Sir Ken Robinson: If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original. Hmmmm, yes, the lesson is obvious.

  3. love your work jane love seeing your process you have inspired me to try many diferent things looking forward to the January class

  4. Oh I love this progression. Do you like it?

    1. ARE YOU BAITING ME??? You know what I'm going to say: It doesn't matter if I LIKE it at this point. The question is: how can I move it forward. I do LIKE the fact that I have lots of choices, there is a lot going on, and at some point I will see where I want to focus, what I want to emphasize. One thing I LIKE about the layers of color underneath is knowing that I can get back to those in places if I want. If I scrape through, there will be something interesting underneath.

  5. The evolution of this painting reminds me of a dream. (You collaged a piece in progress, then painted in the artist, then erased the artist, then put in a closer view of the artist. Very dreamlike progression.) I like it very much.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your process! Can't wait to see what you do. Love watching other peoples process!

  7. love all the stages. Currently there is a defnite face! Almost clown like, very interedting.

  8. Great process shots and comments... thank you soooo very much...

  9. Thanks for this! It and the cooler weather will get me back to the studio to try it bigger!

  10. Thank you for sharing this Jane. I really love seeing process!

  11. I really enjoy seeing your process on this piece. It amazes me, how differently other artists work, and I love how this is turning out...

  12. Gorgeous- thank you for the progress pics!


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