Friday, October 31, 2014

Process: Keeping it interesting

One of the biggest challenges I have with my artwork is sticking with a theme.  As I mentioned in my last post, focus is something I am striving towards.  Creativity and new ideas tempt me with their call all too often.  It leads to a diverse and prolific portfolio, but I've been longing for more development within my varying projects, to see how far I can take them.  By creating a process that helps me focus on the theme, I think I have stumbled upon a perfect solution.

The Birthing Stone

One theme that's been close to my heart lately is that of motherhood, maternity and birth.  So I decided to create a series of images based on a stone I painted a few months back.  I included the hand imagery I wrote about in my last blog post in these new drawings, combining two of my favorite symbols.

What I set out to do was create a variety of paintings based on one image.  I drew, then painted the image several times, each one a little different.  Then I cut it out, so I could see how it looked with different backgrounds, both plain and patterned.  

Next I traced the cut out image on a new piece of watercolor paper and created new backgrounds based on my observations.
Each image is a variation on the theme, developing more meanings for this image as I work.
What is really fun about this process for me it the ability to create an image over and over again, and compare and contrast the final products.  Both the differences and the similarities help me to understand what it is I am striving to communicate with the theme, and the theme becomes more clearly defined for me.  Working on so many versions of an image also takes away the pressure to make one work... if I only like 4 out of 5 of the final products, then there is very little lost.  I am more free to play and take chances, thus expanding the creative process.  

Having several paintings going at one time helps me to experiment with technical and compositional challenges and compare results.  I can assess what is working and what is not working for me with ease.

Different versions of the same image, each a different painting, but each with a common theme.  I am happy to have created a method for finding my focus and creating a series that truly reflects my vision as an artist.

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