My painting process (which Lola could NOT do)

My granddaughter Lola loves to do “scribble scrabble,” defined as “when a person, usually a child, scribbles all over a sheet of paper randomly.”

In my last email I talked about some famous abstract artists, and how they expressed human emotion.

Joan Mitchel, one of the leading Abstract Expressionists, said: “I want to paint the feeling of a space. It’s feeling your existence. Painting is a means of feeling ‘living.’”

In my painting Blue Sonata, Lola was intrigued by the layered lines that seemed to float on top of each other.

She kept asking if she could touch them. I was happy to let her trace the lines over and over again with her finger.

Blue Sonata

You might be wondering, “What exactly goes into creating an abstract painting?”

Here is my process. Of course, this is MY process, and every artist has her own. But in case you’re interested:

  1. I select a color palette, and start with a first layer of paint.
  1. I work on the next layer, creating and defining shapes, with color, lines, or scribbles.
  1. I keep refining the details, adding or removing elements.
  1. Sometimes I reach a point where I’m happy, relatively early on. Mostly I reach a point of frustration where nothing is working. I leave the painting to “rest,” for a while.There are quite a few canvases stacked against my walls, waiting to be rescued.
  1. I go back to the painting and keep working on it. Sometimes I completely obliterate it with white paint, and start over.  Rinse and repeat – many times.
  1. I feel like it’s finished when the elements work together harmoniously, and it also makes me feel excited to look at it.

By the time I’m finished, most of my paintings have at least 7 layers of marks and colors. Most are completely different from where they started, with a few original elements peeking through.

Check out the layers of depth in some of these paintings:

Post your comments or questions below. I always love to hear from you!

love this post? share it with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *