noun: process; plural noun: processes

  1. a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end
  2. a summons or writ requiring a person to appear
  3. perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.

What is the ideal process for an artist? What are the steps an artist takes to complete a painting? In my experience, process differs from artist to artist. Some artists are taught a process… maybe from a professor at school or another artist they admire . Some artists have no formal education. They learn through practice only. I believe many successful artists lie somewhere in between.

I discovered my talents at a very early age. I began drawing Bugs Bunny in first grade. My artistic ability has always been very natural, but in need of fine tuning. At 30 years old I returned to school. It was there that I had a renaissance of sorts. I found a new love for my craft. I watched my professors and fellow artists. I pushed and pulled the best of their techniques. I gained a new perspective on how to paint… on how to create.

The picture above is titled ‘Boom’. It is my most recent painting. I posted it here because it deals with the topic of process. This painting has took over 8 years to complete. It was started in The Stutz Building in 2012. The canvas measures 24 x 18 inches. The first layer of this painting is made of cut paper. I cut up some of my prints and card stock and drawings that no one was interested in at the time. I cut them up and then pasted them to the canvas. Once the glue dried, I laid a very thin layer of white paint over every thing I had just pasted. Then I sat it in the corner.

Months passed by. I moved out of The Stutz into my home studio. I added some paint. I didn’t know what to do next so I sat it in the corner and didnt touch it again until a week ago. This is a VERY IMPORTANT part of my process. There are times when you are in the ‘zone’… meaning you are nothing but a conduit for that all-knowing artist inside of you and you will not stop until the painting is finished. Then there are those times when you have to just keep going, even though nothing looks right. But maybe most important are those times when you must stop… when you know you are working on something great, but its just not meant to be finished yet. You know that is deserves more than what you can give it right then. That is what this painting is.