Layers Upon Layers

I am often asked how long it takes me to complete a painting. While the time varies a bit, it usually takes several days from start to finish; however, every painting starts the same: with a mixture of excitement and fear.

This was the very first layer on a 36 x 36 inch canvas....a mixture of grey and blues.

This was the very first layer on a 36 x 36 inch canvas....a mixture of grey and blues.

The only thing that is consistent between the start and the finish is that I am always grabbing paint intuitively...not knowing the final outcome...and what it looks like from the first layer to the last is not even remotely the same. Thank goodness, because well, just look at this first layer (above)! Lawd!

Here's another thing people ask "So what's your process?" I know they're asking about the actual painting process, but there's the whole emotional process that goes into it too. This photo, above, is Layer #2 & #3. This is what I call the "this is crap and I am crap and I am a total hack and what the hell am I even doing calling myself an artist" stage. EVERY PAINTING has this stage. And while I'm showing you the painting stages/layers, let me also illuminate for you my personal, emotional stages of painting:

#1 ohhh pretty colors.  #2 UH OH    #3 What. The. HELL. Am I doing?    #4 WHO AM I? WHY?    #5 Oh wait...**steps away from the ledge    #6 OOOOHHH Pretty Colors.

I actually thought this might be the final layer, but I had a slight nagging feeling. And here's the thing: I really liked it. I even told a friend I was going to hang it in my new house. Still....that feeling. Also, I knew that if I kept going and adding paint that there was a HUGE chance that I might screw it up. Ever been there? So, here's the thing....this is when we, as artists and as general badasses, have to risk being safe and just go for it!!

Finished!! "Cuz Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright" 36 x 36 Mixed Media on canvas

Finished!! "Cuz Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright" 36 x 36 Mixed Media on canvas

This is the final painting. I love it and am so happy that I listened to my gut and kept going! Now, some people may prefer the stage before this. Here's my thought on that: "Not my problem! Its MY art. Go make your own!" Ha!  

Sending y'all so much love!! ~~ Jodie