Where do you find your inspiration?

I am always asked “what inspires me” or “where I find my inspiration.” It is a difficult question to answer directly because the answer is always changing.  Well, here is a glimpse into my current process:  I begin each painting with a background wash of different colors.  Sometimes it is a colorful theme (using the paint from the end of the day), sometimes it is monochromatic, and earthy or neutral. I like to drip, splatter, and bleed the paint using a water bottle, or alcohol in a spray bottle  – I just don’t like to begin with a blank canvas.  I then begin to glue down collage, handmade, textured paper, then lay down the color.  (Lately) I scumble a white/light wash glaze over the composition, and incorporate umber glazes in certain areas for shadows.  I like different textures, collage, spots, peek through.  I use several layers of gel medium between coats to create lumonisity and depth. I also like to use vine charcoal to outline specific areas, write, and draw.  Sometimes I go back into it with watercolor crayons, oil sticks.  Sometimes the final piece is sealed with a cold wax. There is not really formula, just whatever speaks to me a the time.  The whole process is intuitive.  I don’t know what I am doing half the time, to really describe the ever changing process. I find experimentation very challenging otherwise I become complacent. I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere:  A paint store, my garden, a decorating magazine (Elle Decor is my favorite,) a produce stand, the Fashion section of the Sunday New York Times, the sky, etc.

When I work on a piece, usually the way it is initially painted is the way it is intended to be hung.  However, I am open to options, and I always leave my work open to interpretation.  Toward the end of the process I like to turn it different all different directions and see if it exudes a different energy.  I always enjoy hearing how others view my work, what they see, and how they decide to hang the piece.

I don’t like to to sign the front of my work because I find any signature – my signature distracting. Some people (viewers) don’t understand this and insuniate that the piece might be worth more or more meaningful if signed.  I once heard that Georgia O’Keffe only signed the back of her work – and while I don’t visually care for her style, she is well recognized, respected, and crediable.  So I use her as my example.


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