My Creative Process: Flow

In the flow

All artists wish to be in the flow. Flowing means effortless creativity. Everything falls into place just right. Some days are better than others… It may depend on sleep, or eating habits, or grumpiness, or too much wine….

flow, blog, mixed media, landscape, acrylic
The photo does not quite fit the grid.

Three new paintings

Wine aside, I have begun three new paintings all of which fall into a similar colour spectrum. As usual I have chosen a visual reference for each and designed a notan to determine where the main light and dark shapes form the best balance.

blog, mixed media, flow, acrylic, landscape
Notan thumbnail: deciding on the shapes of light and dark

Lights and darks

With the planning in place I proceed to throwing paint, letting it dry and deciphering the lay of the land. In this particular painting, I had just initiated the placement of the light shapes when I encountered a problem with the texture. I confused the lines of dripping paint with the coarse sweeps of a comb. No longer able to continue in the arena of light I switched to the dark.

mixed media, flow, semi-abstract, landscape
The drips and the texture combine to make a mess.

Retreating to consider

The darks formed the tree trunks. Again, I retreated into the distance and considered my straight watercolour guidelines. The trees in the photo were straight. One tree did not want to go there.

blog, mixed media, acrylic, landscape
Watercolour pencils sets the guidelines.
A sharp curve

Knowing better than to force my will on my muse I gazed more deeply into the chaos before me and decided to go with the texture. Carefully forming the trunk so it gradually grew smaller as it approached the top of the canvas I noticed it took a sharp turn to the right then climbed to the left. Interesting. So be it. There must have been a fierce wind storm to snap the trunk. What courage to keep growing after such a setback…. Imagination makes sense out of nonsense.

blog, flow, mixed media, acrylic, landscape
The darks make placing the lights possible.
More fun

The painting is far from finished but with the lights and darks established the fun intensifies as I add colour and reflection. Life is good.


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