|Jazz Legends: Louis Armstrong 16x20" Acrylic on Canvas|
|"Louis" in progress. Mask is in place.|
How I get from A to B in a piece may see a little strange to anyone who paints. I spent years doing things the way I was taught in school, but honestly, I got bored making little thumbnail sketches and working drawings, and many of my ideas never actually made it to the canvas because of this. I thought this was some kind of flaw in me... my boredom threshold being unreasonably low means that lots of things I start don't get finished and things I set out to learn I don't actually accomplish. The thing is, once I gave myself permission to do things my own, unconventional way, my art just took off and improved immensely.
I had to figure out a way to get the excitement I felt when I had an idea to keep until I actually started to paint. I do it by putting off the "planning" stage until I'm about half way through. Seems a bit counter-productive, but it works for me. Even when I want to paint but don't have an idea, just starting will often lead to something coming to me as I see the marks I'm making. I'll see something in the shapes I'm getting, or I'll try a colour combination that just sparks. It's an energy that I feel, and I think it shows in my finished work.
As for my subjects.... I'm painting portraits of artists that definitely did things in their own unconventional way. Each one of them had a style that was uniquely their own, and it made them legends. How inspiring is that.