There are many things that inspire new work, a photo, a moment in time, a daydream, a particular feeling. Sometimes ideas combine to create a more engaging concept, something more complex then the initial idea. I used to be more of a planner and I used to want the painting to have an exact end result that I could see in my head. This was when I tended to work directly from a photo.
As I view the work and processes of other artists, I try to not only take in the beauty of their work, but also the beauty of their process. I have always envied those that could work spontaneously and create without fear of ruining a piece. Over the past year I have tried quite hard to break away from all the planning and just let my work flow more.
The piece above is a work in progress I have been working on. I have put in 3 sessions on this piece and I foresee quite a few more hours going into it. I first created the background and I originally planned to keep it a simple water reflection piece. I had a photo, it wasn't mine, I was replicating someone else's moment. I didn't like it and I knew it needed more. I saw the potential of using many more references in combination to create something with more depth. I found a photo of a beautiful woman and knew I could have some fun recreating her youthful, pouty face. I wanted to experiment with a different color scheme, I wanted to change the photo more and make this painting more of my own. The coloring of this piece reminded me of an underwater scene and I started thinking about a fish that I could add to the painting- not in the water, but floating, without an anchor next to the beautiful woman. The background is water- but I didn't want them to be in water. Instantly my concept came together! I wanted to add a Lionfish, a fish that is notoriously invasive and dangerous. Can't all of these things be a little dangerous in one way or the other? Deep water, a beautiful woman, a poisonous fish.
And then it was time to travel again- in the middle of this piece I have to take a break and I would be lying if I said this piece wasn't on my mind constantly. While on the plane I take notes of the steps I will take to bring the painting to life when I get back. I am over analyzing again and I can't help that I like to plan it is just in my nature. I think it is this constant balance of control and spontaneity that helps bring my pieces to life.