The story of a painting becoming…

Today I was inspired to do a large work. I have been working on A3 and smaller mostly over the last couple of months. I love playing with the starting layers, writing, collage paper, material and ink.

Playfully stepping out my process:

  1. I set my intention and started writing all over the canvas in different directions. Focusing on my muse I wrote whatever words flowed in an automatic writing process as I turned the canvas and allowed the words to flow naturally.
  2. Then I attach the material and textured collage papers with impasto medium. I much prefer the thicker impasto medium as a glue alternative. The material was a thin see through material so some of the writing showed through.
  3. Once this layer was down I instinctively reached for the deep pink and gold paint and used a credit card to scrape the colour across areas of canvas. The credit card works well as it pushes paint into the recesses so the pattern stands out.
  4. She was so wet at this stage that I put her out into the winter sun to dry.
  5. It has been ages since I have worked on a larger piece. This is the first 2 stages. At the first stage all I could see was this dress but I leant the piece against the wall and did a few other tasks. When I looked back I could see this really clear face so of course I grabbed my chalk and sketched in the image that wanted to be seen in the patterned, layered background. The reminder is to always remember to turn the painting around and to step away as sometimes you can be surprised when you see the piece unexpectedly and something new appears.
  6. I added some white gesso to block in the face and neck area.
  7. Outlining the hair became an extravagance of flowers and large lush ponytails. I used paynes grey to mark in these shapes and the shoulder line.
  8. I knew that she needed contrast and moss green was the colour that called to me. The trick is to act on the intuitive nudges and just take the action without overthinking it. It is a process of trust and allowing. I got the credit card and put blobs of green paint on the canvas and spread them across some of the areas behind her head. This worked well and made her head shape stand out clearly.
  9. As she sat in the sun drying I saw the acrylic inks and grabbed the orange and Crimson ink and a water bottle and went outside and layer the painting flat on the grass. I knew this would be messy.
  10. I stood up and dripped the orange ink in the body area and then did the same with the red. I loved the colour but had lost to much of lower layers so at first I angled the canvas to created rips but the ink was too heavy. I reached for the water spray bottle and began to spray until the inks merged and it felt right. It is always about connecting with the feeling and listening for the whispered guidance and I was paying attention and felt as if I was in the flow.

She was now very wet again and I needed to leave her for another day. She was left to dry outside for awhile as the orange-red ink dripped into the grass. The rest of the day is family time so she will wait for my return. I have had a lot of fun as I usually do when I get out of my own way and allow the guidance to flow through me.
I will complete another post, another day and share how she develops as I delve deeper and continue this story of allowing and trust as I follow the golden thread.

Playful Beginnings

The muse taking shape

The muse taking shape as the form appears

The muse in process - base layers

Layers of blissful play and colour.


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