Life and Painting:
You begin with a plan and it goes to shit if it’s any good.
When I begin a commissioned portrait I can vaguely see the last brush strokes. There aren’t any huge surprises like an exploding golf cart in the background, a miniature pig balancing on a shoulder, or a celebratory uni-brow (when are uni-brows not surprising?). Most portraits are not the place to let an artist’s imagination run free. There are exacting expectations.
The last few days I have been able to work without the reins – let my imagination run wild in any direction for as long as I want to. It’s amazing what our subconscious picks up and brings with it when we give it a chance.
The initial layout with washes led to…
An octopus arm and lotus pods splitting into two.
These symbols are familiar from previous works that began in 2010/2011. The meaning behind this work made some previously ventured synapses fire off in my brain – those good ol’ neurological pathways led to these Buddhist symbols again as problem solvers.
It’s a long way from finished. It may change entirely – including the working title of the piece. For now, I’m just enjoying the journey, and the honest choices I’ve made. I’ve tried to not pull the reigns back just yet. Sometimes we just need to go with it and trust our intuition to gain confidence in our own voice.