I sometimes tell friends that going into the studio is like facing a dragon who is ready and waiting to challenge me while I paint.
This painting is a good example of the beast who was live and ticking throughout the process. This isn't a negative thing, but a positive thing. The "dragon" perhaps is my own subconscious telling me that something isn't right, and that I better fix it, or at least try. As I layer on color, scrape it back, add line, remove it, enhance it, step back and see what I've done, I realize the thrill of the process that I experience every time I paint. I have no blueprint or sketch to guide me, but rather rely on the inner voice which always has something to say. I often begin with unusual color combinations or textures that will lead to something new, something different, something I haven't experienced before. The more risky, the more I invite the dragon into my process. Of course, a new discovery can lead to a series of work that can be linked through a similar process, and I strive for that. But, when I am stuck and want something fresh and new, I invite the meanest dragon out there to say, "I dare you", and off I go in a new direction. It is true that although I may like a painting when it is finished, as time goes on I may no longer like it, or even detest it to the point I can no longer live with it. I have covered over paintings that once hung in museums to try and find a better solution, one that I can tolerate or even like, even if only for a short time. In my next post, I will show you what I mean.
I'm curious; is there a dragon in your studio? Does your inner voice sometimes feel like a beast? If so, how do you deal with it? Please post a comment and share your thoughts. We can all learn from each other.