An inside look...

Sometimes people ask me how I go about starting a painting. There are so many answers to this. In most cases, I first have an idea of subject matter... but sometimes it actually starts with a color that I am dying to use. The picture above shows a stage of the process when I create tiny paintings. Sometimes my larger works follow a similar path... especially if I am working on a theme for a series, say. In the case of the tiny ones above, I took a great winter photo of my back yard. Then I cropped the photo in an editing program and turned it into black and white. I see the values a lot better then and am not distracted by what the color "should be". (Those "should be" expectations can really put a kink in my day.) And I chose a rich ground color that will really create excitement as the paint gets layered on top. Then I created compositions on the canvas in another bright color... red in this case. Some compositions show the photo "as is' and some are variations... and some are completely made up. Each composition is different, making each painting different. But the paintings all tie together with similar color applications. As I apply color to the canvas, I try to leave hints of the gold ground and red line showing. I love to work in groups of similar color choices, as shown here, because it gives me a basis for color decisions from painting to painting. Hope this inspires you to pick up a brush and make a start. Have a great day in color!

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