Thursday, June 14, 2012

Destination Unknown... or Shall We Dance, part 2

In a previous post I mentioned the relationship between my painting and I as a sort of dance. In the beginning stages of each painting I mostly let my heart lead. I put down paint in an intuitive manner. I wash the canvas with swatches and strokes of various colors of paint and water allowing for blending and drips, colors running into each other, layering and covering until the canvas is no longer white. I then listen to the work, look for signs of where it wants me to go and that is when the painting takes the lead. I continue to work this way, stepping in at times, making decisions and then again stepping back to allow the painting to guide me.  There is a sense of freedom, excitement and an element of surprise in this approach. It is an interesting process and the only way I really know how to paint. I might begin a painting with specific visions of how I want it to look, of the colors and composition but it never fails that those ideas do not end up in the final piece and if they do there are only hints peeking through layers of painting.

"Follow Your Heart" acrylic on canvas, 22x28 inches
Here is the finished piece that I showed in progress in part one of this post. I made a few final decisions and this is how it turned out. As the piece progressed and started to take shape I was thinking about an amazing woman I learned about a few years ago. She called herself Peace Pilgrim and her story is so inspirational. She lived her truth and followed her heart dedicated to a message of peace. I couldn't stop thinking about her as I painted and so her story was woven into the painting.