How Paintings Begin Sometimes

Paintings don’t begin with paint.  There’s canvas to unroll, size, dampen, colors to mix.  Even then sometimes it feels good to simply be in the studio for awhile, checking brooms and brushes, watering the plants, opening the windows, staring out at the landscape, until there’s not a sense of time, but rather of being aware.

I usually start a painting the day before I’m going to work on it – getting the basics out of the way, and maybe laying down atmosphere, pouring thinned pigments and mediums into the raw canvas, letting it dry completely.  The second day, it may get pinned up on the wall, and internally driven mark making process begins.

Sometimes, however, there’s a piece of fabric or a form, or a line that had been seen on a Grecian urn, that ignites something inside me.  This painting began with a begonia leaf, and later a pink bloom from a geranium.  Usually the actual form is simply a catalyst, but this time the mark making came directly from these items.