A fellow artist once commented to me that this was the scariest part of the process: starting with a blank canvas in front of you. I don’t find that to be true for me. There is something about starting over that feels rejuvenating. I actually love those first strokes of paint: the possibilities are endless, mistakes made on the last painting can be corrected, hope for a better voice this time pushes me to gesso up another one. It helps me to think of my work as a continuum. Each painting is a part of the creative process in which each piece will tell me something about myself and my own particular aesthetic. I pull the best aspects from previous pieces, steal from myself and apply them to the next canvas. I love this process because it’s not about the finished piece. There comes a point where you can’t do any more to a painting. It tells you when to move on. I love that.
I love to draw. Sometimes I get into the painting zone, simply because painting takes longer, is more demanding of my time and I wake up thinking, “I’ve got to get to that painting…” But drawing is still the foundation. One of my mentors told me that good paintings come from good drawings. It’s hard to “fix it in the mix” if you don’t have the armbiture of a good drawing underneath. It was great to return to some drawing exercises yesterday, if for nothing else to have the immediate joy of the quick draw. Self-Portrait in conte on paper. And a sketch of the next painting, crayon on paper (you’ll have to wait to see it in color). ~S