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It's ok to make a mess


If you've seen my studio carpet you know I have no problem making a mess. (Or seen my room but we won't go there). I throw paint, spill paint, there's always paint on my hands no matter how often I clean them. The same, however, is not so true when it comes to painting. I often find myself trying to lay every brush stroke in the perfect spot or trying to put the right color next to another color. I will get so focused on creating the perfect painting that I forget to make a mess first.

When I paint abstract I try to work in layers in order to create deep textures and depth. I start with a base laying out colors and moving pretty freely with brush strokes as I cover the entire canvas. Throughout the process it is important to stay patient and allow the composition to unfold and come to life...I unfortunately don't have a lot of patience. (Especially driving but again we won't go there). I try to to rush the creative process which results in a painting that ultimately looks unfinished.

The painting in this short timelapse is my most recent piece in the new Abstract series that I started and put aside as I felt myself getting too anxious to finish the piece and rush perfection. The video starts with the base layer I created which gives some light to the composition the end result would have. As I add layers I remind myself that it's ok to make a mess. Releasing energy through the pallet knife I loosely following the composition laid out in the base layer. I work freely adding marks, scraping paint, introducing new colors. The important thing to remember about making a mess is that it can always be cleaned up. When I notice that a piece is getting TOO messy I step back, allow the paint to dry and then work back into it covering up some of the original marks to create softer movements and deeper textures throughout the painting.


The finished product portrays a whirlwind of energy moving freely through a soft atmospheric presence. So if you're a painter looking for tips, get messy with it, be patient and keep an open mind. You may be surprised with the interesting marks you create and if it gets out of control you can always clean it up while creating some neat textures. Now excuse me while I go clean my room...

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