Part of being an artist is learning to be flexible. My work never turns out exactly the way I want it to — the way I envision it in my mind. I have to be flexible enough to work with what I have, rather than what I was expecting.
It seems like I have to relearn this every time I pick up a brush. I’ll think that I have mastered a technique, that I have complete control over what I’m doing. But it doesn’t work that way. There are too many variables for me to have control — the size of the canvas, the viscosity of the paint, the intensity of each color and how the colors blend, the underpainting, and even the weather. Plus I keep changing things, because if I did the same thing all the time, it would be way too boring!
Painting is a metaphor for life — learning to let go of expectations and dealing with the reality of what is.
I can almost always turn what I’ve got into something beautiful, but I can’t follow a plan. I have to take a painting one step at a time, and figure out what the next layer should be after I see what the previous layers look like.
Here’s a detail of one of the panels I did today. I thought you might like to see it in process. So far this piece has underpainting and the first layer of paint. Several more layers will follow. I thought I was painting “winter,” but now I’m not so sure that’s what it will be. Time will tell.