My Art Process
When I work I have a few different approaches. Sometimes I begin painting with an emotion or experience in mind. Generally, I do not have a sketch or idea mapped out ahead of time, rather, I create the composition spontaneously while thinking and revisiting thoughts and emotions from a particular event or time.
On the contrary, if it is not a particular event or emotion from the past, often times, I will try to tap into where I may be at the moment, and examine my present emotions and feelings and spontaneously express that. It is through this approach that art making helps me to become aware of my present emotional state. I believe this not only assists me in being more aware of where I am, it also makes me less reactive and more able to develop and learn from my present experiences, (because I am paying attention to them). So, it is in this way that I find art making to be somewhat of a tool for personal development, growth and awareness.
However, sometimes I will, but not often, have a significant and particular experience that I want to express. (Like I was saying at the beginning.) When it is that powerful, then, at times, I will sketch and plan ahead. (Yet, most often this is not how I approach my paintings.) If I do approach my paintings with idea sketches ahead of time, I also work out the composition in these sketches the same way as when I instinctively paint, by taking myself back to the event, and re-visiting the emotions I was feeling, and then expressing that feeling in my idea sketches. (Which is the same process I use when I paint more spontaneously).
So, my method, is probably what I would describe as intuitive.
I also have noticed that when I am working, it is quite a balancing act. There is a balance that has to be made between spontaneity and control. I work quite intuitively and spontaneously, but I also have to temper this with using control and technique. I have found that if I am too spontaneous, the work doesn’t gel, and similarly, if I am too controlled the work looks too stiff. So, as part of my process, I am continually riding that line between control and spontaneity. I think that’s a magic space, sort of similar to what I have heard surfers talk about when riding a wave. And I must admit, I get a kick out of it, it is exciting, sort of an act of risk taking blended with skill and experience, it’s one of the feelings I get when I work, that I enjoy the most.