How I start....

One of my favorite things to do is to start a painting. I was recently asked how the process begins for me with an abstract image. Good question. Really... where do you start? Sometimes if you don't have "concrete thought" of what the result might look like, you could feel lost. So I break it down into parts that I love to think about first. Of course all thoughts could change, but generally, a sense of color is how I first begin. My chosen colors may be inspired by other color I have seen... on fabric, on my dinner plate, or in my garden. Then I grab a canvas that "feels" right for the day. Am I ready for a large horizontal?... or a small square canvas. Sometimes I feel best when I just go ahead and enjoy the big canvas... if for nothing else than knowing the freedom I will have when I paint with my entire arm. I have painted a few images on walls in the past... and that large movement is satisfying to me. After the color and size are "sort-of" settled on, I think of the gesture of the painting... do I want to make broad marks, round smooth forms, landscape-ish forms, or maybe short brush marks? A lot of that depends on what energy I need to let out. Once I make a few decisions... then I start. And of course, all things may change as the color leaves my brush... because then the organic process happens and the entertainment before me takes over. Sounds vague. Yes. And I am good with that. I have learned that I can not force a mark to be sincere. So I love it for what it is. Does it always mean I like the result of everything I paint? Not really... but I guess that is what makes a favorite so special. I just love the process of "the start".

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