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When I engage creatively, I get totally immersed. Even though I have a studio log, I completely forget to record the colors I'm mixing and my thoughts/ideas at the end of a painting session. Oh so frustrating when I try to go back and recreate a color. Yesterday I just took out my journal & painted some samples of some new color mixes and how I got them, then added some notes listing the brushes I used and liked best. I think the secret will be to always keep it open and available. Do you keep records of your process? What works best for you?


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After the go-wild first stage of getting lots of shapes, colors and marks onto the surface, my childlike spontaneity and playfulness shift to quieter evaluation and deliberation. I can feel my connection growing to the piece, seeing shapes and relationships suggesting ideas for its meaning.


I notice how much dark green there is and consider how I will vary that to provide more contrast and interest. I look at the scale and relationships of the shapes and where and how to edit back or cover up. I consider what additional colors, shapes and marks I might add for visual interest. I wonder whether I will keep the large shape quite so large or even the same shape and color. Glazes could help tone down and unify the bright lavenders with the light yellows.

Then I open the image in Photoshop with this reflective attitude and I use the brush tool to edit and revise. By the end I have three or four printed design and color variations with handwritten notes and arrows showing possible revisions. I've only just started doing this recently and I'm liking how it helps clarify what isn't working yet.

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Yesterday I painted mottled grounds on two prepared cradled boards. I chose a palette inspired by this older work I liked, so I started with pinkish lavender, creamy ivory-yellow and soft greys, then added some wispy lines and a few shapes in a transparent burnt orange. I'm considering working some metallic leaf onto the pieces and glazing over them.

Today I started to create more defined shapes and values, still with a playful, exploring mindset. I don't know where the work is going and I am open to anything. At this stage, I'm just enjoying the creative energy and expressing it in contrasting shapes, lines, and values, without much thinking or analyzing. That will come soon enough.

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