One Painting, Many Stages (or Trust the Process)

I'm not usually the most patient person. I like quick results, especially when it comes to making art, and when I say quick I mean the piece is done at the end of one art-making session.

Um, really? Though sometimes I manage to do just that, it doesn't always work that way.

Allow me to indulge a little and offer you a glimpse into the making of one of my new favourite pieces...


One night I created a background with my brayer, a quick art-making session that resulted in this:

I saw a woman meditating in an urban oasis. I liked the colours and almost left it as it was, but I knew it wasn't finished so the next night I did this:

I kept the woman and meditation theme but ditched the urban feel in the background. The dark "eggplant" colour was a pure accident that left me frustrated. Interesting, yes, but certainly not finished.

Feeling stuck and tapping into my art mantra #2, Can't Be Too Precious, I spent the next day flipping the piece around on all sides to see if anything jumped out at me. Seeing it upside down triggered something:

 I saw abstract figures in a snowy landscape so I moved on to this...

... and finally to this:

The Gift, 9 1/2" x 12" acrylics on mat board


The moral of this story?

Don't be afraid to explore a piece from a different perspective. Trust the process, it usually knows where to take you.