oil on paper
As I paint, there are voices in my head. No, not a mental health issue, more an internal guidance system that help me make decisions on the fly. There is a colour commentary going on as I paint, that goes like this:
"OK, what's the colour/hue that I need to mix? Is it the right value? Let's put some on the canvas...ok, that works/darn, that's too bright/dark/light/wrong colour etc. I want to lighten it with some of the blue. Add more white, pull some paint from the mix created previously, try it again. Ok, that works, now leave it alone and go on to the next section."
It sounds crazy when I write it out, but really that's the conversation I'm having with myself when I paint. Its a series of internal questions, verified by paint strokes on the canvas than pushes me to the point of my original vision for a piece. Each impending colour, value, or stroke is preceded by a deliberate decision. Whether that decision takes microseconds or hours, its still a decision that is debated internally, and sometimes on canvas. It is a comparison of what is there to what could be there to determine if there will be harmony or a clash that sends me off the path.
demo oil on paper
Developing this conversation takes time and practice and is essential to provide the series of internal checks and balances that are required to make art that I am happy to put my name to.
Do others have those internal conversations when painting? I remember hearing a similar painting thought process from one artist, Rose Frantzen, but not from other artists. Perhaps its not something one mentions in public for fear of being considered altogether too strange.