EARLY STAGE: I like to document the various stages of a painting because they give me hope! When I look back at the many early stages of paintings which later came out okay, I can see that it is normal and even essential in my process of working for paintings to go through many UGLY stages before they can see the light of day and blossom into a swan (or, maybe just a humble sparrow). The early stages of almost all of my paintings (regardless of media), can be categorized as “ugly”, “scary ugly”, and “why do I even bother/ugly”. It is as if the worse it is, the more boldly I can go forward and say to myself, “ok, what have I got to lose? It’s already about as bad as it can get”. Of course, things CAN, and do, often get a little worse before they get better!
MIDDLE STAGE: It may not look like much has happened in this stage versus the previous stage, but some heavy duty sanding has occurred which ends up revealing the understory, history, and darks and lights that were buried under the opaque wash(es). However, just seeing some light lights and darker darks feels like a step in the right direction. It’s time to add paint and make bold marks because again, what have i got to lose?
FINAL STAGE: Many things have happened between the middle and final stages, but I often forget to grab my camera phone to capture a “stage” shot. Although I am trying to get better at this (and if I do, I will post more revelations, most of them pretty ugly, on this blog!), this is all I have. I focused on creating some serious darks, less textured transparency in the quinacridone Nickel Azo Orange and limey green areas to contrast with the opaque seafoam green, some nice saturation to play off the duller grays, and a pinch of clip art to contrast with all the abstraction. Although this is a very small painting (just 6x6in), scaling up will require the same process, with bigger tools, of course. Jagged Edge, 6×6″, 2015.