Let's be honest. My process is a little all over the place. Am I painting? Am I collaging? What's with all the scraps everywhere? What about the photography stuff? What are you doing with your life Amy!?!
It's fine. Here's what I know has been working for me so far.
Step 1 - Paint
My paintings are all about the flow. What does that mean? I hardly have the vocabulary to describe it. In college, I once had a painting professor who constantly told us to paint what we felt. I thought that she was bat* crazy. Because what does that mean?
Well, insert foot in mouth here. That's pretty much what I do when I'm painting. I have no master plan. I don't practice or sketch out what I'm going to do beforehand. I start painting what I feel. Every time I've tried to paint shapes or ideas or sketch something that I love and then try to re-create it, that never works. I don't even pre-mix my paint colors! I mix it all simultaneously right on the canvas and add more colors as I go along. I start painting and see what happens.
Step 2 - Layers
Then what? Well, I keep adding layers - a ridiculous amount of layers. I was even talking with a friend one day and telling her that I wasn't sure why I even bother painting so many layers because I end up cutting everything, (spoiler alert). But it's part of my process. I add layers of materials, layers of paint, rinse and repeat. I run off of intuition to know when something is complete. When you know, you know. Or, in my case, it just feels right.
Side note, in between my layering process, I also take pieces of tracing paper, lay them on top of my wet canvas, pull them off, and let those pieces dry to add to my collages later. I love this because it's completely unpredictable.
Step 3 - Cut
When all that is said and done - then I cut. Yep. I hack that canvas right up. I can hear you gasping. The first time I decided to do this I was hesitant because it didn't make sense. I had the thought, cut this up and then piece it together. I fought with myself. Why would you cut your painting? Isn't that like a painting federal offense? Again, I'm not sure why I do this. Why would I spend so much time painting, adding all those layers, only to chop it to shreds? I don't have a solid answer. All I know is that it's fun, I like doing it, and it feels right. I look for unique forms or shapes to cut and go for them. I know it needs to happen.
To be fair, not all of my paintings 'make the cut'. I get done with them and realize this needs to stay together! I have to stop and let it be. It was a painting that needed to stand out on its' own. Why? Don't ask me, ask the painting.
Step 4 - Collage
As I start to cut, ideas come while I put pieces together. It's almost like a puzzle. I use my canvas scraps, tracing paper scraps, and I play around until something emerges that I like. Nature has been my inspiration for a long time so my collages often have a landscape feel.
I like adding plant elements in my collage pieces as well. When I'm out in nature, I collect different leaves and plants. Some of these I dip in a clear varnish to preserve them. When I'm collaging, I bring these together and see if they add value to the piece I'm working with. I think I like the real elements combined with the abstract but organic shapes and forms in the paintings.
There you have it.
As for my photography, we're taking a break right now. I need to be doing more with my hands and imagination. I've always been more of a cut and paste kind of girl-even with my photos! But that's a story for another day.
Oh Hey! it's me, Amy
These are stories about my art, experiences I've had in my career, and some other fun stuff too. I will probably overshare, I can't help it when I'm writing. Get cozy, these are great rainy day reads!