Saturday, January 08, 2022

It Starts With Your Idea

 "Golden Horizon I and II" oil on canvas diptych; each painting 40 x 60 inches

When I exhibit my artwork at outdoor shows, interested patrons often ask me, "How do you come up with your ideas?"

In general, I don't suffer from the artistic equivalent of writer's block, so generating new ideas isn't really a problem for me. If anything, the challenge is finding sufficient time to create all of the things I have floating around in my head. My poor, beleagured husband would be the first to tell you that I'm the worst travel partner ever because I'm always stopping and looking at new things whenever we go places. We can never get from point A to point B in a straight line. 

This tendency to meander through life's subjects is exactly why I enjoy working with clients on commissions. Custom paintings are fun projects because they start with my client's idea, and then we collaborate to make their vision a reality. It's one of the occasions when I can flip things around and say, "It starts with your idea."

A good example of this is a recent landscape diptych that I created, "Golden Horizon I and II." My client was interested in vivid fall colors, mountains, and a bold, contemporary statement. She sent me some landscape photos from around her home out west and the colors she wanted to emphasize. Then I created some small-scale initial studies for her review. After consulting with her about the studies, I painted the finished, full-size works. 

The finished works are oils on canvas, each measuring 40" wide by 60" tall. Below you can see some behind-the-scenes photos of the process behind these paintings in my Knoxville, Tennessee studio.  If you have an idea for a landscape or cityscape painting that you’d like to make a reality, contact me and we can discuss what you’d like.

Priming the Canvas
Priming one of the canvases in my studio.
House painting brushes aren't just for painting houses...
Color Swatches 
The client's colors from her decor.

Painting in Progress
The first block-in of shapes and color. 
This is a really fun part of the process.

One of the best parts of my job is what I describe as "Swimming in color." 

Another great part of my job? A studio mascot!
Maple was kind enough to glam up a pose for this photo