About eight years ago I dialed into my painting style. It’s now starting to develop into what feels like an evolving universe of characters. Finishing a painting is a singular thing. Developing an art practice, or the way I make my art, is an investment in years of growth. I hope my growth as a painter never stops. I’ve learned the journey is more important than the destination when you’re talking about art.
An important shift that has happened with my paintings has been trying to get my thoughts out into words. I’m turning some attention towards my writing and not just my painting to help move my artwork forward. I need to be able to understand what I’m doing and why to be able to share my work with others more clearly. Sharing how my paintings are created is part of the bigger whole of my thoughts and ideas. Overtime as my painting skills are growing, also subjects, symbols, and ideas are growing behind the scenes. The behind the scenes is my art practice. Sharing my practice adds insight, value, and grows the story of my whole body of work, not just one painting.
It’s true a painting isn’t finished from beginning to end with one thought or inspiration. Working the paint, tools, and subjects naturally grows my chosen symbols. It’s mostly on impulse. I have to be there inside of an idea using my tools for it to occur. How I think of a painting practice is a deepening of my always developing personal symbols. My personal symbols come from my life.
I have a lot of reference photos. I squirrel them away into my collection daily. This gives me the most shots at having a successful, if not a finished painting, at least a move forward towards creating a change or an adaptation of a subject I already use and love. My stumps that I often use are a sort of adaptation of the rocks I was already using. It’s exciting and a mystery what will evolve next. So my photography is important.
Collage, masking, and stenciling are also important tools I use to make my art. These techniques are how I create many things including silhouettes, landscapes, and skies. My recent paper-cuts are a growth from using paper in a behind the scenes sort of way to having paper take the place of stretched canvas as the foundation of a painting. Also the shapes of the paper-cuts are using my symbols themselves as the groundwork shape to build upon.
I think an art practice can be as simple or complicated as a person wants to make it. Sharing not only gives people who are interested a deeper understanding of an artist, but I think more importantly the behind the scenes making creates a deeper world for an artist to live in. And when you’re in deep things get cool.
I also have an overall artist statement about my painting practice that holds true today.