Creating a body of work is entirely different than making just one painting. A thread must connect the paintings together in a way that allows the viewer to find a connection between the pieces. In my very few years as a professional artist, having an underlying theme behind the paintings makes it all so much more meaningful than a standalone piece. Not only does it help me name the works (the hardest part of my job), but it gives me purpose and inspiration even on the days that don't seem so easy. This year the theme is directly tied to the natural world I so desperately love. Behind my love is a deep gratitude towards nature and all of the amazing gifts it unconditionally offers to each and every one of us. It's all there for us - love, comfort, health, growth, peace - if only we'll take a step outdoors. And for that I am eternally grateful for the Bountiful World that we live in.
|"Good Medicine" hanging on my outdoor easel behind the studio|
|From a snow storm in June|
|Instagram inspiration for the painting "Present"|
|Sketches for "Mature Growth" and "A Thousand Blessings"|
|Watercolor studies for "A Thousand Blessings" and "Mature Growth"|
All of my paintings start from a real place - often when I was out in a storm. I use images from that experience to start my composition - sometimes I add trees or subtract them, but only to add to the overall feeling I'm trying to achieve. Then I make a sketch, plan how many layers, where the mountains and trees go, and what affect I want in each layer.
|Various watercolor studies|
For example, here is the evolution of the painting Awe & Wonder, a diptych of two panels that total 36x80 in.
|Inspiration for "Awe & Wonder"|
|Four-stage plan for "Awe & Wonder"|
Based on my sketch and knowing what colors I wanted, I created this watercolor study.
Once I was happy with the study, I began on the panels and started with a base of wax and then on my layers - painting trees, smearing in color, then topping with a layer of wax. Periodically, I put the panels together to see if it all worked together.
|"Awe & Wonder" leaning up against the studio upon completion|
Bountiful World opens at Gallery MAR in Park City on November 28th and lasts through mid-December. Please join me at the opening celebration from 6-9pm on Friday, November 28th.