Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I got excused from jury duty!

The good Lord takes such good care of me. It makes me smile warmly. I took advantage of my good fortune and blocked in a new painting. I'm placing a performer, colored with stage lights, in an outdoor scene. The challenge, other than capturing his resemblance, will be to work the colors into a pleasing yet believable ensemble.

As I blocked it in, how to execute this came easily. I'll work the foreground in bright punched colors, to become a unit with him, and tone down the remainder of the scene. Funny how with just a sketch I couldn't see this simple solution. Yet, as soon as I began adding paint, it flowed so naturally...

I love that about art. You don't always need to see the big picture. An idea for beginning is best and let it lead you somewhere. Surprises are fun. Surprises are exciting. Surprises make you feel alive! Its the bliss of creating.

So far I haven't shown much of my work in progress. If I begin to, you'll get a clearer picture of the chaotic way I work! On other artist's posts, you can follow a painting from start to finish. Mine will be a mishmash. In the beginning it can take me a week or more to return to the same painting.

There will be so much variety it may make your head spin...

Its much like the mind of a creative person. So full of ideas they want to explode out in every direction! Fortunately, when I get passed the "washes" stage, I love to work wet into wet and can complete them individually with full focus.

It can get a bit scary for me at this point. Especially if many reach their final stages at the same time. So much time has already been invested in them. At first, I'm completely free and fearless. In the end, a much slower concentrating state takes over. Though exciting to see a work come to completion, it can become stressful.

I'm trying to find a balance. I need works going in every stage. That way, I'm not confined to only the "completing stage" on all canvases at once. The first time I tried this process, its what happened to me. I try to avoid it now. Begin new works all the time. Its my solution. If it gets too intense finishing, I can ease up with something else in the early stages. Go drip some color for awhile.

Don't you find it interesting that everyone's process is different?

As different as our completed works. No right. No wrong. The creative process can take any shape. It usually comes as a surprise when I announce this to my beginner students. At first we work so controlled. I break it down in easy-to-follow steps. Then in time I tell them anything is correct. Its what feels right for you individually. They forget that on opening day, I told them, "There are as many different ways to paint as there are artists. I'm only showing you one way, not "the" way."

I'll take full advantage of not being confined to the courtroom today and go create!

Hope your day offers you some surprised freed time too...


  1. Congrats on getting out of jury duty Susan. It is so true what you say about everyone's process being different. We all might take different paths in our art but with a similar destination in mind.

  2. I'm agree with Brian... and as i said in my blog today, you must sweat with your heart on your canvas not with what you should do with some painting's rules. Only with your feeling...

  3. You have something going here, Susan. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.
    It is true. You have to follow what is you in what you do. I once took seriously that I should loosen up but after trying it awhile decided I had to stay true to myself and what I am doing is who I am. my technique, my color choices, how I see my world and all how I portray it is what I am and thus is my integrity.

  4. Thank you Gary, Martine-Alison and Brian. Its nice to know others agree.

    Not only do we all have our own techniques, we are also very close to it. It becomes a very personal thing. A personal thing we would protect and stand up for. Its actually a part of us. Who we are. Don't you think?

    I agree Gary, its out integrity.


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