When I want to ‘build a painting’ I follow a sort of creative recipe that I’m inventing for my new work. So, to make one of my ‘charmed surrealism’ paintings I use different aspects of my creative process. These pieces are built up in layer after layer of expression, thoughts and ideas. I start with a first layer of a solid coat of paint. Can be any color from white to black and might even be a blended assortment of colors that capture the end flavor or mood of where I think the piece may be headed.

I set the thing out into the sun to dry as I work on another ‘blank’ preparing it for its own creative journey.

When the first piece is ready, or when I’m ready to address it again, I’ll add some more stuff. Could be collaged layers, chalk, crayon, pastel or glue, maybe even some string! These elements are generally broad based and suggestive but usually not at all figurative. I may add a bunch or just a few concepts. Then back into the sun. This could happen several times over the next few days.

When I have the background starting point I want I might snap a photo of the top and import it into a digital drawing program I use on my iPad called Procreate. This app literally allows me to add up to 10 more layers of ideas. I can then refer to these as I go back to the actual painting.

The digital portion of this process also allows me to experiment with a lot of different ideas and solutions that interact with the material layers already applied. Sometimes what I decide to go with on the real board goes off in a different direction than some of the solutions that look good digitally. When this happens I have decided to use some of these expressions as good candidates for giclee art prints! You can see the ones I currently have available in this link.

A combination of photo of the under painting and some added digital layers – in process.

Here is where the piece ultimately went in its material form as a painting.