I recently read an article in “Pastel Journal” about artist, Bobbie McKibbin and her process for painting landscapes using soft pastels. One statement in the article really resonated with me, Bobbie said, “she’s doing all the talking at the beginning of a new piece, but at a certain point, the painting starts to talk back.” What a great statement!
That happens to me a lot when I’m painting. By nature I’m a controller, painting loose or listening to my work often doesn’t happen until I’m well into the piece. But once I’m open to letting painting have its own way all of a sudden the piece starts talking – sometimes it’s a lot of chatter! And wow, it’s usually at this point that things like rocks, trees, weeds, clouds, pathways start showing themselves in the painting – it’s usually for the better.
I’m working on my second sunset and yesterday the painting started talking, all kinds of things started showing up in the painting: two pathways, bushes in silhouette, and beautiful clouds have appeared in a cloudless sky. When I stepped back, I just knew these were perfect for the setting. Hopefully I’ll post the final painting this coming Monday.
Here is an example of a painting I did of the Bay Cove area in Portland, Me. The scene started out as a hillside with a fence and no boats in the bay, but in the end turned into something very different. Here is the final, as well as the rough workings after I started to put some boats into the water.
I’m curious, does your art speak to you when you’re creating?